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V - * 

















Sitbtxti)^ S^0n0anb. 





[The right of translation and reproduction is reserved,] 


• . ■ * 






My dear Michael, 

When I first undertook this Volume, your conviction that 
it would prove a " real and useful Work " encouraged me in its progress. 

I much wished at that time to dedicate it to you, who from boyhood 
have been my kind friend and adviser ; and I hesitated only lest it should 
not prove worthy of your acknowledgment. 

Now that it has met with approval, and a new edition is called for, 
I feel encouraged to place your name on this page ; and to express in this 
manner how sincerely we, who have the advantage of your intimate 
friendship, recognise and esteem the qualities of heart which endear you 
to us, and in comparison with which even your distinguished fame holds 
but a subordinate place. 

Ever your affectionate Brother, 




{i«r ^— ^'^' ('^^-^""" 









■ KCT. 

















II. TREES 157 















I. Forest of Fontainebleau : Juniper Front ispUee 

II. The Prismatic Spectrum to face p. 12 

III. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colours 21 

IV. Harmonious Arrangement of Pigments ... 51 

V. Dugarry, Anmi (Chalk Drawing on Tinted Paper) 67 

VI. The HandUng of the Brush 113 

VII. Blotting-in (the Jung Frau) 121 

VIII. Start Point 121 

IX. Lake of Brientz 135 

X. Table of Aerial Grays 153 

XI. Examples of Foliage 162 

XII. The Elm (First and Second Tints) 163 

XIII. Table of Greens and Russets 169 

XIV. Beechtrees 171 

XV. Roofe, Buildings, &c 185 

XVI. Rocks, Dartmoor 196 

XVII. Waves, Study of 203 

XVIII. The Staubbach 207 

XIX. The Stelvio 236 

XX. On the Dart (TwiUght) 239 

XXI. Melrose (Moonlight) 240 

XXII. Returning from Market, Skye 246 

XXIII. Contrasts of Colours 262 

XXIV. Simultaneous Contrasts 264 

XXV. Ditto 265 

XXVI. Arrangement of Colours 272 





1. Hbading (The Vorder See) .... 7 

2. Diagram, fig. 1 9 

3. „ „ 2 11 

4. Heading (Bryony) 17 

5. Diagram, fig. 3 19 

6. Initial (Convolvulus) 25 

T. Vignette (Shell) 83 

8. Initial (Signal) 84 

9. „ 38 

10. Breadth of Shadow (Remhrandt) . . 41 

11. „ Light (Turner) .... 41 

12. Heading (The Moist-colour Box) . . 49 

13. InitUl(Ivy) 52 

14. Heading (Scroll, Poppy, &c) ... 61 

15. „ (Glen Rosa, Arran) ... 75 

16. Example(Compo8ition: Loch Katrine) 78 

17. „ (Composition : Ventimiglia) 79 

18. A Party of Pleasure, Arran .... 80 

19. Cross near Bolgano, Tyrol .... 83 

20. Vignette (Borrow Lane, Kenilworth) 85 

21. Heading (Loch Fine, Scotland) . . 87 

22. Book, &c. (Cast Shadows) .... 93 
28. Example (Tint) 95 

24. „ (Gradated) ...... 96 

25. „ , 95 

26. „ (Cube and Ball) .... 96 

27. yy (Bust and Curtain) ... 97 

28. Doorway (Cast Shadow) 98 

29. Window „ 98 

30. Example (Breadth) 100 

31. „ (Opposition) 101 

32. „ (Dartmouth) 101 

33. „ (Focus) 102 

34. „ (Cast Shadows: Abinger) . 103 

85. „ ( „ Knole) . .108 

86. „ ( „ „ ) . . 104 







Example (Breailth : Dolbaddeni) . . 
(Light and Shadow: Hall 





(Aerial Perspective : Uls- 


(Light and Shade : Arran) . 
(Norham Tower) 
(Near Dorking) 
(St. John's, Tyrol) 
(Trent, Tyrol) . 

( „ ,» ) . 

(Highland Sledge) . . 

Initial (Vine and Swallow) . . . 

Diagram (Hatching and Stippling) 












„ of Frontispiece (First Tints) 130 







(Dappling) .... 
Heading (Summit of Goatfell) 


(Foregrounds : Dock) . 

(Vale Crusis Abbey) . 

(Skelwith Force) . • . 
Vignette (Fontainebleau) . . 
Initial (Water Ranunculus) . . 
Heading (Glen Sligachan) . . 

(Lang Kofel, Tyrol) . 

(Moel Siabod, N. Wales) 
Vignette (Bumham Beeches) . 
Heading (Spring, Abinger) . . 

„ (The Cottage^ioor, the Pets) 248 
Vignette (Kenilworth Common, the 

Gleanera) 252 

Initial (Contrasts) 259 

Diagram (Complementary Colours) . 268 

„ ( „ „ ) . 264 

Heading (The Captives) 277 




rriHE First Edition of this work being exhausted, and the 
demand continuing undiminished, it becomes necessary on 
ihe part of the Author to consider in what way he can render 
it more worthy of the success it has attained, and how far he 
can comply with the requests of numerous correspondents 
(known and unknown), who have shown their interest by 
writing to him on the subject. It is, however, difficult to 
satisfy aU the demands or suggestions made for more explicit 
lessons or minute instructions. Were some of these ideas car- 
ried out, the whole nature and aim of the work would be 
changed. The Author may remind his readers, that his object 
was to give young Artists and Amateurs general information 
of the natural philosophy of colour only so far as the art 
required; but more particularly to explain, by the aid of 
carefully selected examples, the manner in which water-colour 
painters of the present day use their materials, and produce 
their effects. It was not intended that the volume should 
supersede the master, but rather aid him ; for, in the Author's 
opinion, neither books, however well written, nor lectures. 


hovever eloquently delivered and illustrated, can equal the 
power that an able master has in conveying instruction, with 
a ready brush and explanations adapted to the wants and 
capacity of each pupil. 

But without multiplying useless plates, and thus increasing 
the expense of the work, the Author has found that he can 
comply with many of the requests for more detailed infor- 
mation, by adding several new plates of a more simple cha- 
racter. It is in these important points especially, that 
difficulties hard to explain by words, or understands without 
examples, are met with, so much depending on the way in 
which a water-colour drawing is commenced, and so completely 
are the simple washes lost or altered by the after-processes. 
. In this edition, the Author has replied to the questions of 
some of his correspondents. It has also been considerably en- 
larged, particularly in the Chapter on the Mode of Working ; 
and being printed in a larger type, and with additional wood- 
cuts, will be less difficult to understand when the student is 
without the advantage of a master. 

To this Third Edition but few additions or alterations 
have been required, only two or three of the plates which 
did not appear of much use to the pupil being withdrawn, 
and the whole of the work reprinted with the greatest care 
and attention. 

S, Harbington Square, 

Hampstead Road. N.W. 


MAUT excellent and elaborate treatises on the Theoiy of Colour, and 
several works describing ths practice of landacape-paintii^ in 
vater-colonrs, are already before the pnblic ; bnt to nnderstand the former 
requires much thought and patience ; and the latter, however practical, 
rarely have the advantage of being accompanied by examples illuatrative of 
the artisf 8 meaning. 

The object of the present work, therefore, is to supply that which the 
author, in a long course of professional teaching, has found necessary for 
the advancement of his pupils. The diagrams and illustrations introduced 
are such as have been found most useful in elucidating the theoiy and 
practice of colour in landscape-painting, and at the same time in diminish- 
ing the labour of the pupil in acquirii^ this valuable and attractive art 

The student, with the view of iully impressing upon bis mind the rules 
given in the following work, should copy the iLustrationa ; and, when he 
finds himself conversant with his materials, may proceed to the drawing of 
subjects fixim nature, in accordance with the rales laid down. 

The work will combine a summary of the natural philosophy of colour, 
so &r as the painter is concerned, with an extensively illustrated exposition 
of its practice in regard to the employment of pigments and other mate- 

4j introduction. 

rials ; thus serving, in the absence of the master, to refresh the memory of 
the pupil, and to explain remarks imperfectly understood during his lessons. 
It will also form an introduction to the practical study of nature. 

It is in nature that colour exists in its greatest beauty ; and to imitate 
her, and represent that beauty, is the highest aim of art Sir Joshua 
Reynolds observes, that "he who recurs to nature, at every recurrence 
renews his strength : the rules of art he is never likely to forget — ^they are 
few and simple ; but nature is refined, subtile, and infinitely various, beyond 
the power and retention of memory ; it is necessary, therefore, to have 
contiQual recourse to her." 

It should be understood that the study of colour comes last in the order 
of artistic education ; and those who take up this important branch must 
have already acquired a good knowledge of linear perspective, the very 
foundation of drawing ; and of the eflfects of light and shade, the chief 
agents in embodying form, and giving it solidity. This knowledge once 
attained, the attention of the pupil may be directed to colour ; until his eye 
haviug been suflBlciently trained to discrimiuate its properties with the same 
ease and certainty with which it determines form and arranges light and 
shade, he may proceed to combine all these powers in one subject. 

Very erroneous ideas are entertained regarding the capability of the 
mind to acquire correct perceptions of colour, and to realise them in artistic 
efiects. Too much is ascribed to genius, — ^too little to study and persever- 
anca Both the appreciation of colour and the power of expressing it are 
doubtless attainable by education; and, imder proper direction, the laws 
relating to harmony of colour may be as readily understood and practised 
as those relating to perspective when representing forms without colour ; 
the pursuit demanding nothing more than the general capabilities required 
in the study of the latter. But the student who desires to attain excel- 
lence, must devote his time and labour with that imtiring energy which 
a love of the art alone can excite ; he must be prepared to find that the 
greater the progress he makes, the more evident will appear his distance 
from perfection ; and yet, each time he takes a step in advance, he will feel 
that he has already reaped a certain reward of his industry, and gained 
another motive for perseverance. 



Great care has been bestowed upon the illustrations of this work ; and 
though mechanism can scarcely be expected to equal the immediate results 
of the artisf s own hand, yet the author trusts they will materially assist 
the student who refers to this volume in thoroughly understanding the 
system practised by the English water-colour school 

By the careful and elaborate researches of many practical men, modem 
artists have been spared much of the labour and loss of time experienced 
by the old masters in the search after proper materials for their works ; 
and the qualities of all pigments now employed having been minutely 
investigated and accurately determined by Field, in his valuable work on 
chromatography, to that work the student is referred for a more extended 
view of their nature. 



or be chastened down to the graTer tints, consisting of little more than light 
and shadow — is an object of the highest admiration to all, but more eepe- 
cially to the artist The ever-varying circumstances only increase his 
admiration, and add to his delight ; and when, by careful observation and 


much study, he has attained the power of imitating the forma presented to 
his eye, and of representing the proportion of light and shadow on the dif- 
ferent parts, he then aims at the triumph of his art, and endeavours to 
clothe them in their natural colours. Great difficulties, however, present 
themselves to him who desires to obtain this high object ; not merely in 
the want of sufficient skill or mental appreciation, while he is rather an 
aspirant to than a master of his art, but in the veiy condition of the case 
itself, where a white surface and a few pigments are given as the only 
means of representing the infinitely varied and changing lights and colours 
of natura It is indeed surprising to see, in the works of the great 
masters of painting, how far the mind of man has been able to overcome 
difficulties, and to succeed in producing representations which sometimes 
charm almost as much as nature herself. 

Being desirous of producing a useful and practical work, which shall aid 
those who are attempting to gain the power of representing natural scenes 
by means of water-colour drawing, I have thought that a short preliminary 
consideration of the physical character of colour, and of the light which 
renders it visible, might be of some service, inasmuch as it would supply, in 
numerous cases, the principles which should guide the artist in his work, 
and the details of the expedients by which he should endeavour to attain 
his object. Further, it will at one time answer such thoughts and queries 
as must arise in the intelligent mind of any one pursuing his vocation with 
earnest devotion, and at another may suggest considerations which, being 
wrought out, will aid his resources ; for the more the mind dwells upon 
the correlated points of its chief study, the better will it be able to pursue 
that study to a successful end. We wiU therefore consider briefly, and only 
so far as the artist is concerned, the theory of colour : first, in respect to 
the light by which it is developed; and next in relation to the colour 
of the object seen. 

K the shutters of a room be closed, so that no light can enter except 
through a horizontal and narrow opening on the side facing the sun, a 
ray from that luminary passing through the aperture will fall upon the floor ; 
but if a triangular prism of glass be held near the opening in the course of 
the ray, in the position shown by the figure, the ray will be bent from its 



first course, and take another direction, which will probably either cast the 
light farther along the floor or upon the wall of the room. A sheet of 
white card-board or drawing- 
paper being then placed to 
receive this ray, some very 
interesting and important 
eflfects may be observed. In 
the first place, the original 
narrow band of white light 
on the floor becomes on the 
wall a succession of bands of 
the most varied and brilliant ^* !• 

colours. These, though they pass insensibly into each otiier, may be con- 
sidered as an infinite number of lines of coloured lights arranged one after 
the other, but all parallel to the originsd white band. This is called the 
spectrum, and an attempt is made] in Fig. 2 to convey an idea of this ob- 
ject ; yet, although the greatest pains have been taken with the delineation, 
the result falls infinitely short in beauty of that presented by the experi- 
ment. There it is seen (as Newton taught us) that the white light of the 
sun can be separated into coloured rays ; and, what is more remarkable, 
these different rays can, by being recombined, again form white light; 
for if a lens be held in any part of their course, so as to include them all, 
and a sheet of white paper be held beyond the lens at its focus, these 
coloured rays will be found to reproduce white light If the paper be 
taken away, or removed farther ofl^ the white light will again be resolved 
into the various coloured rays. By this experiment it is proved that the 
white light of the sun contains in it all these coloured rays, and that they 
are all again required to make up the original white light. 

These rays are invariable in their tints, places, and proportions. Be- 
ginning with those which are the least bent out of their original course, 
Newton describes them as being — ^red (9), orange (5), yellow (9*2), green 
(11-3), blue (11'4), indigo (8), violet (16*1); and the extent which they 
occupy in the spectrum very nearly agrees with the numbers here attached 
to their names. But they are by no means of equal illuminating power ; 


the yellow and green being, for instance, far more luminous than the blue 
or violet. The breadth of the spectrum is determined by the length of the 
opening in the shutter ; and its length, taken across the colours, chiefly by 
the distance from the aperture at which the white paper is placed. 

It will at once be perceived that, in this experiment, the colours 
rendered visible do not originate in the object looked at, but in tiie light 
which falls on it ; the paper is white, and not one of the tints now pro- 
ceeding from it are, under ordinary circumstances, presented to the view. 
In common language, the colour may be said to be in the light ; and when 
the light is once separated into its different coloured rays, then it is found 
that these rays essentiaUy differ from each other ; for no farther refraction 
or treatment of any one of them, when so separated by passing through 
a hole in a screen, can change it into any of the other rays, or alter 
it in any manner : that is to say, though we may absorb and destroy it, 
we can neither vary its colours or change its character. It is quite true 
that we may combine these rays, and thereby produce different effects : 
thus we can, by artificial arrangements, throw the blue and the yellow 
rays on the same spot, and then a green colour is seen ; or we may, as 
has been described, combine all the seven, and thus reproduce white light. 
But the resulting white may be opened out again, or the compound green 
resolved into its blue and yellow ; yet the originsd green of the spectrum 
cannot be separated into blue and yellow constituents, nor can any one of 
the rays in the spectrum, when perfectly separated from the others, be in 
any d^ree subject to change in its colour. They are all true primitive 

It has already been said, that the colours obtained by the experiment 
are dep^ident more upon the rays coming from the source of light, than 
upon the body looked at ; it may likewise be remarked, that no object or 
pigment can present any colour to the eye, except such rays exist in the 
light illuminating it as are competent to produce that colour: the rays 
may for a time be mingled with others, but they must be there, or no 
colour will be seen. With spirits of wine and salt we can prepare a light 
producing little more than yellow rays ; then, if by such a light we look 
at a purely red body (as, for instance, a piece of red morocco, or a bright 


cherry lipX we see it without colour — that Ib, black : again, if by the same 
light we look at a substance not purely red, as vermilion, or red sealing- 
wax, we see it yellow ; for the power of the coloured ray governs the 
power of the colour seen by it, and the latter therefore shows yellow only. 

When we say that a ray is coloured, we are obliged to submit to the 
imperfection of language. A ray is not in fact coloured, nor can any colour 
be seen in it, from its origin to its termination, except by means of the 
motes, or vapours, which are in its path ; indeed, strictly speaking, no sub- 
stance can be said to be of any colour ; for it wants the action of lights 
and of the particular li^t requisite to produce the specific colour, before 
such colour can appear. That whidi is recognised as colour by the eye, is 
the united effect of the substance looked at, and of the ray Mling on its 
surface. Having made the above reservation, the author does not hesitate 
to use common phraseology, deeming it sufficient for the present purposa 

It may be as well to describe another way of observing the spectrum, 
as it will enable the artist, if so inclined, to examine the colour charac- 
teristics of the pigments which he employs. Let him place a sheet of black 
paper without gloss, or a piece of black velvet; on the floor, in good day- 
light, and on the middle of it a slip of white ps^i^ or card-board, about an 
inch and an half long, and one-third of an inch wide : then, receding about 
ten feet, let him hold a prism of glass similar to that before mentioned, 
in the position delineated in Fig. 2. Upon looking on the ground near 
his feet^ he will see the black background, and 
on it the strip of white paper converted into a 
spectrum ; ie. the white light, passing from the 
white object into the prism, will there be sepsr 
rated into the different coloured rays, and these 
will enter the eye arranged as in the spectrum, 
and produce the effect desired. A partial spec- 
trum of the same kind is often seen produced 
by lustre drops, decanter stoppers, and other 
forms of cut-glass, and is most beautifully ^^ 

developed by a series of reflections and refractions in those drops of rain 
which produce the rainbow. 


In modem times many exceedingly minute investigations of the spec- 
trum have been imdertaken by Wollaston, IVauenhofer, Herschel, Brewster, 
and others, and results of the highest interest have been obtained ; but, 
though they are intimately connected with colour, they are by no means 
essential to a work of this description, which is limited to the wants of the 

Turning to the second part of our explanation of physical effects, we 
will briefly notice those points relating to the nature of the object re- 
ceiving the luminous ray ; and which, being made visible by it, appears 
clothed with colour — according as its nature affects and changes the ray 
of light This object, or collection of objects, constitutes the picture viewed 
by the artist, and of which he endeavours to give a faithfal representation. 
We wiU analyse it chromatically and briefly. Objects are rendered visible 
by the light, which, first falling upon them from the sun or other luminary, 
is by them reflected, and thus they become secondary sources of light. Sup- 
pose a white surface, as of card-board, plaster of Paris, &c. ; it can send 
back all the various coloured rays falling on it from the sun ; these rays 
are seen in the spectrum, in which they are shown in their separated state 
{vide Fig. 2) . Taking the ordinary case of the unseparated rays, the card- 
board reflects all the various coloured rays as before, but mingled, and the 
effect on the eye is white. That all the coloured rays proceed from the 
card-board is proved by the effect described in the second mode of viewing 
the spectrum, namely, by looking through the prism at a piece of white 
paper on a black groimd. But though all the kinds of rays are reflected 
far more or less of each ray is extinguished and destroyed as to any power 
of producing farther illumination or colour ; and the rest, or that which 
still remains radiant, is thrown about in all directiona 

K less light fell on the white surface, its apparent whiteness wiU be 
diminished, because less light is reflected from it ; diminish the light still 
more, it becomes gray ; and with no light incident upon its surface, it 
appears black, for it sends no rays to the eye. To illustrate this in another 
manner ; suppose the illuminated surface to be that of a mixture of plaster 
of "Paris and powdered charcoal ; then, though the illuminating power be 
ever so strong, the surface will appear gray ; much more of the incident 




light being there extinguished, and consequently much less reflected to 
the eye than before. If the surfece be that of charcoal alone, then nearly 
all the incident light is extinguished, and we have, as before, black. But, 
in all these cases of extinction of light by the object, all the various rays 
have been dealt with at once ; and, while any light remained to be reflected 
fix)m its surface, however deep the gray it may have presented, still such 
gray has contained rays of all the colours, and these in due proportions for 
forming white. Even a surface of the purest white that we can prepare, 
quenches a considerable proportion of the light falling upon it ; and hence 
arises much of the artists difficulty ; for there being nothing but this im- 
perfectly white surface with which to represent light, his representations of 
it must fall infinitely short of the reality ; and yet, as regards his trees, 
buildings, and other objects, his pigments are as bright in colour as the 
objects themselves ; consequently, should he either endeavour to represent 
a day or night scene, having the sun or moon as the only source of light 
visible in the picture, or should he wish to introduce strong reflections, as 
of the sun on the ripples of a lake, or desire to depict a rainbow, his most 
finished production must become but a feeble imitation of the brilliancy of 

This brings us to the consideration of those surfaces which, quenching 
some of the rays of lights do not quench equal proportions of all the 
coloured rays. Here we have the origin of the general colours of material 
objects, and the representative pigments of the artist These objects are 
not distinguishable, as regards colour, by other senses than the sight, or by 
other means than the rays of light In the absence of light, green or 
red objects are not distinguishable in colour from white : brought into the 
light they are not white, because they do not reflect all the light which falls 
upon them ; and they are not gray, because the portion of light which they 
extinguish is not an equal proportion of each coloured ray. The green body 
has absorbed more of the other rays than of the green, and hence, sends the 
latter back to the eye in excess, producing a green effect on the perceptive 
organ ; and the red body, having destroyed more of the green and other 
rays, sends back the red rays in excess, and hence its colour. It is as 
though a partial analysis of the white light had been made by the different 


coloured bodies^ one sending off the green and another the red ray^ in a 
manner something analogous to that in which the prism sends off all the 

There are veiy few pigments, or even natural objects, that are pure in 
colour. Most of them reflect variously coloured raya Yellow pigments, 
for instance, reflect also red and green rays, as the artist will find, if, in- 
stead of the white strip of card-board, he place on the black paper or 
velvet a cake of his purest yellow, and look at it through the prism as 
before. And this explains a point which might otherwise present some 
difficulty, since no substance can manifest its colour to the eye, unless the 
rays falling upon it be of the proper character : our colours, even those 
called primitive, are not pure ; so that if a green or red light Ml upon a 
yellow body, instead of yellow it may appear either green or red, because it 
can reflect, more or less, all the three colours ; for every ray, not absorbed 
and destroyed by the body on which it falls, is sent back in the resulting 
ray to the eye, to produce that final effect of which we are made conscious 
by our visual organs. 

There are both opaque and transparent colours. An opaque colour is 
that which, having absorbed some of the coloured rays from the white 
light, sends the rest back from its surface to the eye, at the same time 
permitting none to pass through; a transparent colour is that which, having 
absorbed some of the said coloured rays, allows the remainder to pass 
through. Consequently, on looking at a well-illuminated surface of an 
opaque red, we at once see it as a red substance ; but if we replace it by 
a plate of red glass, we do not see that red until a sheet of white or red 
paper, being placed beyond it, throws back the light, which finally has 
passed twice through the glass. These transparent colours, like the others, 
are only partial in their action on the rays ; and though they may transmit 
one colour more easily than another, and so possess a particular tint, yet 
scarcely one is known to transmit a ray of a pure and unresolvable colour. 

When opaque colours are mixed together, to produce an intermediate 
effect, their action is not the addition of light to light, as when two rays 
fall upon the same place : on the contrary, they obscure each other ; for 
if blue be added to yellow, to form a green, so much as the blue displays 


itself, in the same proportion it hides and darkens the yellow ; and the 
yellow, in like manner, hides the blue. It is well known by experience 
that a considerable degradation or dullness of colour arises in this way ; 
an effect against which the artist should carefully guard, avoiding it as 
much as possible. When placing a transparent colour over an opaque one, 
the physical effect is different in kind : for then the light, not being al- 
together cut off by the colour above, is reflected by the colour beneath, — 
deprived, however, of those rays which the transparent colour cannot send 
back to the eye. Thus if an opaque yellow surface be covered with a 
transparent blue, the lights before it reaches the yellow, is deprived of 
some portion of its red and orange rays, and again of another portion on 
its return bom the yellow; and hence a beam competent to produce a green 
effect on the eye is the result These physical principles have great in- 
fluence on the practice of the artist, when, according to what his experience 
has taught him, he selects opaque or transparent pigments either to give 
body or to subdue his colours ; and though it is not, in this place, neces- 
sary to enter more minutely into such matters, yet there can be no doubt 
that the artist who, being equal in other respects to his contemporaries, 
surpasses them in his knowledge of these principles, will not only possess 
a greater advantage in the use of his agents, but will, in the exercise of his 
talents, enjoy an additional and even a higher pleasure. 

A water-colour drawing is the effect of very fine, opaque coloured par- 
ticles, mingled with and sometimes overlaid by transparent colours ; which, 
being disposed upon a white groxmd, so modify the light falling upon and 
being reflected from that white surface, as to produce the effect constituting 
the pictura In respect of by far the largest part of the picture, the mind 
should be intent upon this idea, namely, of the light which is thrown back 
by the paper to the eye ; and it should be as little injured in its character 
of brightness as possible by the means taken to represent the forms aud 
colours of natural objecta light and shadow mtMt he there; but there 
are such things as clear shadows and dirty lights. 

With regard to the pigments employed in the production of such 
drawings, we have by no means a free choice, but are limited to the use 
of those natural or artificial bodies, which, besides being powerful in their 


production of colour, may be mixed, more or less, with each other, without 
being subject to much alteration or decay, and also with water or gum, 
without mutual chemical action or injuiy; and, whether soluble or in- 
soluble, may be applied with a brush. Hence one of the reasons why 
pigments do not enable us to realise all the effects of nature : — ^we are 
restricted by the very qualities of the substances we use. 

Passing on to the practical part of our subject, we wiU now describe the 
most important of these pigments, noting the circumstances and modes of 
application which enable us to use them most effectually in our endeavours 
to obtain truthful representations of the natural pictures presented to our 



caDDot be obtained by any mixture of the other colours ; hence they may 
be considered, in an artistic senB^ aa strictly primitiva 
■ To these three primary cohtnrs may be added white and black : white, 
as the representative of pore daylight in its undivided state ; and black as 
that of darkness, oi the absence of light The three primaries may be 
regarded as gradual transitions &om one extreme to the other, both in 
colour and luminosity ; thus we m^ pass from white, or positive light, to 
yellow, the colour most nearly allied to it ; thence to red, the mean and 
most important colour ; then to blue, the representative of space and 
coldness ; and finally to the neutral black. The union of all the prismatic 


colours, in their proper proportions, produces light or white ; but the 
same combination, and the union of the three material pigments best 
representing them, gives a gray or black. We have previously demon- 
strated, that the grayness or blackness of a substance arises from the 
smallness of the quantity of white light reflected from its surfsuje. 

One black substance may appear comparatively white, when contrasted 
with another of a still deeper shade. Thus a piece of black velvet, placed 
in the sunshine, will appear black ; but if we throw a strong shadow across 
it, the unshadowed portion will appear white or gray, and only the shadow 
by comparison black. In speaking of white and black, considered by 
artists as neutral (or the positive and negative extremes of colour), we 
must remember that the true grays being neutrals are intermediate, forming 
a link between the two extremes of white and black, as we have already 
illustrated in the section on the prismatic spectrum. 

Adopting, therefore, the artistic division of colours into three primaries, 
our simplest course will be to give a brief description of their position and 
qualities in the order they present themselves in the spectrum. We can 
afterwards arrange them as we pleaae in our experiments. The red rays 
being the least bent out of their course appear at the end of the spectrum 
nearest the place on which the undivided light would fall ; therefore of the 
three primaries we shall commence with 


This, the most powerful and distinct colour of the three, excites and 
stimulates the eye, predominating in all colours which artists call warm. 
It occupies a mean or middle position in the scale of colour ; for yellow 
approaches nearer to light, and blue to darkness, whUe both tend to 
produce a coolness of effect^ as compared with red. Green is its accidental 
or complementary colour. 


Yellow in an artistic view is the primary most closely allied to un- 


decomposed l^ht, by the diffoaing inflaence of which it is frequently 
mingled with all the other hues. Ita accidental colour is ptuple, bo that 
a yellov sunset will admit of a purple distance ; but should the yellow 
approach a golden or orange hue, blue may prevail in the sky and distance. 
Kotwithstandii^; this arrangement accords with the principles of accidental 
contrasts, it would appear that yellow in nature is more generally con- 
trasted wiUi black than with purpl^ and that these contrasts have been 
employed with success by Ruhens and Turner. Yellow as a pigment is 
not easily met with in a perfectly pure state, being generally combuied 
with red in various proportions. This addition increases its warmth, and 
renders it more agreeable to the eye, without altering its characteristica ; 
so that many such compounds are still called yellow. Any admixture with 
blue at once changes its character firom that of a coloiu nearly allied to 
light, to one more closely associated with darkness. 

Hoe, being related to shade or darkness, is consequently retiring in 
its character, imparting the same quality to aU the hues in which it pre- 
dominates. It is rarely seen pure in landscape ; hut ut the heavens we 
find abundant compensation 
for its paucity on earth. Con- 
sidering, then, these three 
colours alone requisite for our 
present purpose, suppose we 
arrange on a white ground 
respectively (as represented in 
Plate 3), three pieces of red, 
blue, and yellow glass of the 
same intensity of colour. Flat 
glass vessels, filled with co- 
loured fiuidf^ will produce the 

same effect ; and where the Kg. 8. 

primary coloured pieces cross each other three compound colours will be 
c 2 


produced, called by artists secondary colours ; thus yellow and red will 
make orange ; yellow and blue, green ; and red and blue, purple. K each 
strip of glass had consisted of two bands of the same colour, one darker 
than the other, and been arranged with their darker edges towards the 
centre, as in the accompanying diagram, the secondaries would have been 
formed in different proportions as compared with the primaries. At 1, 1, 1, 
the deepest colours are produced by the union of the greater intensities of 
the red, yellow, and blue ; at 2, 2, 2, the intensities are equal, but of the 
least degree ; while at 3, 3, 3, where a dark band passes over a light one, 
the quantity of one primary colour in each diamond is exactly double that 
of the other. Hence arises a fertile source of secondary colours, the 
qualities of which will require a brief description. 

OBANGB (yellow AND BED), 

Orange, being the most luminous, is, on that account, the most striking 
and prominent of the secondaries. It is the connecting link, or har- 
monising colour, between yellow and red, and the accidental or comple- 
mentaiy colour of blue. It has a great variety of tones ; but these cannot 
be represented in a diagram, owing to the difficulty of printing such delicate 
variations, and the limited power of machinery as compared with the 
artist* s hand. 

OBEEN (yellow AND BLUE). 

Green is generally considered as the mean between the other two 
secondary colours, taking an intermediate position between light and &hade- 
It is remarkably distinct and striking in its effects on the eye, being at the 
same time highly refreshing and soothing to that organ ; it is far more 
prevalent in nature than any other colour, though seldom seen in its 
pure and unmixed state. The green of nature accords well with blue, 
being harmonised therewith by the warm purple and gray tones of the 
atmosphere and distance. Nevertheless it is very doubtful whether a 
picture, having a preponderance of green, is ever truly popular, or even 
pleasing to the eye, however true to nature. 




PURPLE (red and blue). 

Purple is the coolest and darkest of the secondary colours. It possesses, 
in a high degree, the modest retiring qualities of the primary blue, with 
which it is most closely connected ; and as the eye delights to dwell on 
those colours which least fatigue it, perhaps purple may rank next to green 
in the pleasure it affords. The varied purples, or warm grays, as the artists 
term them, are of the greatest use to the landscape-painter, in harmonising 
the aerial blue of the sky and distance with the richer tone of the fore- 

To these six, i e. the three primaries and the three secondaries, may be 
applied the name of colours ; because with indigo (which artists scarcely 
consider as a distinct colour, owing to its near approach to blue) they form 
the seven prismatic colours of the spectrum. 


The tertiary compounds are hues composed of all the primary colours, 
one of those colours, however, predominating. Eepeating the previous ex- 
periment, substituting glasses of the three secondary colours, we obtain the 
primary hues, as seen in Plate 3, fig. 2. The latter will evidently produce 
a much less striking effect on the uneducated eye than the former ; and 
this doubtless led Field to remark, that "to understand and relish the 
harmonious relations and expressive powers of the tertiary colours requires 
a cultivation of perception and a refinement of taste, to which study ajid 
practice are requisite. They are at once less definite and less generally 
evident, but more deKghtful, more frequent in nature, and rarer in common 
art, than the like relations of the secondaries ajid primaries." 

They form by far the greatest portion of every landscape, modulating 
and harmonising every scene. The attainment, therefore, of a just appre- 
ciation of their beauties and infinite variations should be the constant study 
of the artist He who considers them as beneath his notice, or treats them 
only as so many " dirty tints," as Barry calls them, can scarcely be aware of 
the rapid degradation which takes place in all colouring so conducted. 


As well might the musician consider playful and beautiful variations in 
music as of no importance ; whereas they serve to relieve, refresh, and at 
the same time to sustain the attention, and enable it to return with re- 
newed interest to the simple melody or theme of the composition. 

Howard, in one of his lectures, says: "Colour of dififerent degrees of 
purity is scattered throughout all nature, cheering and delighting mankind 
with a perpetual display of splendour ajid magnificence. This bountiful 
provision of nature has the power of imparting a charm to things the most 
trivial and otherwise unattractive, ajid thus furnishes the painter with ready 
and inexhaustible resources for the embellishment of his subject, of what 
kind soever it may be." 

Nature presents few of the primary colours to the landscape-painter for 
his imitation ; such objects as birds, minerals, and even flowers, though 
making the nearest approach to the primitive colours, are yet seen in por- 
tions too small to have much effect on his picture. The artist may occa- 
sionally give a dominant tone to his composition by a small portion of blue 
in the sky, or of red in the dress of a figure ; but in nature the colours are 
so blended, harmonised and difiused by atmospheric action, that to neglect 
the tertiary d^rees of the chromatic scale would either produce discord, 
from want of a proper arrangement of colours, or monotony from their 
deficiency of contrast 

Harmony in landscape depends more on the distinctly marked charac- 
ter of these delicate hues than on the relative proportions or quantities of 
the primary colours. In using them the greatest care is required in their 
selection, and the greatest skill in their manipulation; the diflBculty of 
adjusting all then* minute variations being much increased by the necessity 
for constant and simultaneous attention to the effects that light ajid shade 
have upon these tints. The greatest masters have found ample scope for 
the exercise of their genius and industry in their delineations of the 
beauties of natural scenes, which, though depending essentially upon these 
tertiary hues, and being constantly presented to our view, stOl never cease 
to call forth the highest admiration of every lover of natura That they 
may be viewed under different aspects, and treated with different effects, 
and still be ever charming, is proved by the productions of the most 


celebrated artists. Whether, like Turner, they revel in light, air, mist, and 
sunshine, and with perceptive delicacy aim at expressing the realms of 
space; or whether, after Ostade and Teniers, they. repose on the quiet 
neutral grays ; or, following in the steps of Eembrandt, they pass from 
colours into the depths of shade,— one and all, adhering as they ought 
to the truthfulness of nature, may equally command success. 

Having thus called the attention of the student of landscape-painting 
to the importance of the tertiary colours, or primacy hues, we will proceed 
to their description. 


A mixture of orange and green is called citrine, or citron, from its like- 
ness to the colour of that fruit ; it is a dark, subdued, yellowish green, and 
tolerably well represented by the pigment called hrovm pirik. It is more 
nearly allied to yellow than to blue or red, being composed of yellow and 
red, and yellow and blua This colour is pleasant and cheerful, and, owing 
to the predominance of yellow in its composition, approaches more nearly 
to light than the other two primary hues. Thus it permits the painter to 
modify the greens of the landscape ; and by giving them, in some degree, 
the orange and autumnal tints, he can at once increase the quantity or 
breadth of light, and add warmth to the general effect Citrine harmon- 
ises well with the deep purple tones which, at the decline of day, prevail 
in the middle distance. 


The second primary hue is russet, in which red predominatea It will 
be seen by Plate 3, fig. 2, to be a mixture of orange and purple, or of 
red and yellow, with red and blue. As red occurs twice in its composi- 
tion, russet inclines more to red than the other primaries. Sometimes it 
appears among pigments in a subdued form under the name of red ; thus 
Indian red is a tolerably good russet. Brown madder is a deep transparent 
russet, which harmonises well with deep greens ; it is a very useful colour 


for the first harmonising tones of a water-colour drawing, since it mixes 
well with a broken or subdued yellow, and when thus varied may be passed 
over the whole paper. 

In union with the blues it supplies a gray, which forms an excellent 
link in connecting light and shade with colour. Eusset has a more retiring 
quality than brown. Having a portion of blue in its composition it par- 
takes of the aerial hue, and is therefore often used to represent some of the 
more decided browns which occur in the shade or middle distance. 


Olive, formed by purple and green, is the last of the tertiary colours, 
and is more nearly connected with blue than the two former ; it therefore 
makes the nearest approach to shade and dsurkness. It contrasts well with 
a deep-toned orange, and is the most retiring of all the colours. Appearing 
continually in the representations of slates and grays on rocks, and in the 
deep shadows on water, it is of great importance in the landscape. Caution 
must be observed in its use, as it has a tendency to detract too much from 
the light of the picture. 


Section III. 



HE study of Chromatics, or the relations which different 
colours bear to each other, forms an essential part of the 
education of every student in the art of colouring. It en- 
ables him to appreciate the numberless variations which he 
may make with his pigments, and teaches him to heighten 
and develop colours by the repeated application of tints 
and hues harmonising with each other. By its aid, too, 
he may sometimes obtain a happy effect in the judicious use of 
those contrasts and apparent oppositions of colour which experi- 
ence has proved to be productive of the most agreeable results. 

Although the science of optics of late years has made great 
advances, it is not yet possible to deduce from it any certain rules 
to determine the relative proportions which colours in juxtaposi- 
tion must bear to each other, in order to produce perfect harmony. A 
knowledge of these proportions can only be acquired by the cultivation of 
the artists taste, and probably varies with the peculiar quality of the per- 
ceptive faculties of each individual We may, however, by a brief exa- 
mination of facts relating to the theory of colour, alrestdy determined by 
the science of optics, arrive at those principles which form the basis of a 
sound artistic education. 

The spectrum has not been placed before the student to prove that the 
proportions therein exhibited by its different colours are those to be em- 
ployed in good and harmonious colouring ; nor is it even necessary that 
colours should follow the same order to produce agreeable contrasts. The 
colours of some of the most celebrated pictures have been arranged in very 
different positions and proportions. There are, indeed, pictures forming 
admirable examples of harmonious colouring, which scarcely contain any 


positive colour throughout their whole composition. To recur at once to 
the highest authority — nature, how often are we lost in wonder ajid 
admiration at the solemn effect of an assemblage of almost neutral hues 
and tones in an autumnal twilight or a wintry storm ! To imagine the 
necessity of a strict adherence to any such order of proportion and con- 
trasts, would be as absurd as to suppose the finest effects of music to depend 
on the constant succession of the most perfect chords. No— the spectrum 
has merely been introduced in order that we may trace all colour to its ori- 
ginal source — flight ; and that, by observing the influence which light, in all 
its modifications, exercises upon colour, we may arrive at facts affording 
us a sure foundation on which to establish rules for the judicious appli- 
cation of tibe pigments representing those colours. 

The various bodies most nearly representing the prismatic colours must 
first be carefolly examined, both separately and in combination, and also 
under the influence of differ^it lights ; so that we may be aware of their 
efiects upon our vision, become master of their properties, and observe 
those affinities or contrasts which are most agreeable or disagreeable to our 
perceptive oi^ans. 

Such inquiries, in a work devoted like the present more to practice 
than theory, must necessarily be short and /concise. They may, however, 
serve to indicate the course of study which every one, pursuing the art with 
earnestness, must undertake ; and also to encourage the student to examine 
nature for himself, that he may understand and appreciate the beautiful 
results of the simple laws by which her operations are governed. 

The experiments in regard to the effects produced on the visual organs 
by coloured light of great intensity, and the tendency of each pwticular 
colour to excite the perception of a certain other colour in all whose sight 
is in a healthy state, are so clearly detailed by Sir David Brewster in his 
work on Optics, and are so important, that we quote them here at length : — 

" When the eye has been strongly impressed with any particular species 
of coloured Ught, and when in this state it looks at a sheet of white paper, 
the paper does not appear to it white, or of the colour with which the eye 
was impressed, but of a different colour, which is said to be the ^loddental 
colour of the colour with which the eye was impressed. K we place, for 



example, a bright red wafsr upon a sheet of white paper, and fix the eye 
steadily upon a mark in the centre of it ; then, if we turn the eye upon the 
white paper, we shall see a circular spot of hltoBh-green light of the same 
size as the wafer. This colour, which is called the accidental colour of redy 
will gradually fade away. The blutsh^ffreen image of the wafer is called an 
ocutar spectrum, because it is impressed on the eye, and may be carried 
about with it for a short time. 

" If we make the preceding experiment with diflPerently coloured wafers, 
we shall obtain ocular spectra^ whose colours vary with the colour of the 
wafer employed, as in the following table ; 

Colour of the Wafer. 

Accidental Colour, or Colour 
of the Ocular Spectra. 






Colour of the Wafer. 

Accidental Colour, or Colour 
of the Ocular Spectam. 





" In order to find the accidental colour of any colour in the spectrum, 
take half the length of the spectrum in a pair of compasses, and setting one 
foot in the colour whose accidental colour is required, the other will fall 
upon the accidental colour. Hence the law of accidental colours derived 
from observation may be thus stated : — ^The accidental colour of any colour, 
in a prismatic spectrum, is that colour which in the same spectrum is 
distant from the first colour half the length of the spectrum ; or, if we 
arrange all the colours of any prismatic spectrum in a circle, in their due 
proportions, the accidental colour of any particular colour will be the 
colour exactly opposite that particular colour. Hence the two colours have 
been called opposite colours.* 

*' If the primitive colour, or that which impresses the eye, is reduced to 
the same degree of intensity as the accidental colour, we shall find that the 
one is the complement of the other, or what the other wants to make it 
white light ; that is, the primitive and the accidental colours will, when 

* It has been already obserred, that the proportion of ^e colours in the spectrum varies, 
even by the same kind of light, when prisms are used of different refracting substances. To 
verify the above experiments, it will be necenary to use a prism of flint-glass. 


reduced to the same degree of intensity which they have in the spectrum, 
and when mixed together, make white light. On this account accidental 
colours have been called complementary colours. 

"With the aid of these facts, the theory of accidental colours wUl be 
readily understood. When the eye has been for some time fixed on the red 
wafer, the part of the retina occupied by the red image is strongly excited, 
or, as it were, deadened by its continued action. The sensibility to red 
light, will therefore be diminished, and, consequently, when the eye is turned 
fix)m the red wafer to the white paper, the deadened portion of the retina 
will be insensible to the red rays which form part of the white light from 
the paper, and consequently will see the paper of that colour which arises 
from all the rays in the white light of the paper but the red ; that is, of 
hluiah-ffreen colour, which is therefore the true complementary colour of the 
red wafer. When a black wafer is placed on a white ground, the circulatr 
portion of the retina on which the black image falls, in place of being 
deadened, is protected, as it were, by the absence of light, while all the sur- 
rounding psurts of the retina, being excited by the white light of the paper, 
will be deadened by its continued action. Hence when the eye is directed 
to the white paper, it will see a white circle correspond to the black image on 
the retina ; so that the accidental colour of black is white." 

Sir David Brewster afterwards details some curious experiments, in 
which both the primitive colour and its accidental one are seen at the 
same time. 

Thus, if a body be illuminated by a red light and a white light of equal 
intensity, one of its shadows will appear red and the other green. In these 
cases, he says : — 

" The accidental colour is seen by a portion of the retina which is not 
affected, or deadened, as it were, by the primitive colour. A new theory of 
accidental colours is therefore requisite to embrace this class of facts. 

"As in acoustics, where every fundamental sound is actually accom- 
panied with its harmonic sound, so, in the impressions of light, the sensation 
of one colour is accompanied by a weaker sensation of its accidental or 
harmonic colour. When we look at the red wafer, we are, at the same 
time, with the same portion of the retina, seeing green ; but being much 


fainter, it seems only to dilute the red, and make it, as it were, white, by 
the combination of the two sensations. When the eye looks from the 
wafer to the white paper, the permanent sensation of the accidental colour 
remains, and we see a green image. The duration of the primitive im- 
pression is only a fraction of a second, as we have already shown ; but the 
duration of the harmonic impression continues for a time proportional to 
the strength of the impression. In order to apply these views to the 
second class of facts, we must have recourse to another principle, namely, 
that when the whole or a great part of the retina has the sensation of any 
primitive colour, a portion of the retina, protected from the impression 
of the colour, is actually thrown into that state which gives the accidental 
or harmonic colour. The term harmonic has been applied to accidental 
colours because the primitive and its accidental colour harmonise with each 
other in painting.*' These remarks serve to explain the relations and 
natural contrasts which colours bear to each other, and the derivation of 
many of the terms so frequently used in art. 

It is important to note the great differences observable in the colours of 
nature, and in pigments, according to the variations of the light in which 
they are viewed. By examining each colour in its primary or simple state, 
and observing all its changes under different aspects, we shall be better 
able to trace the delicate and unceasing variations which all colours, and 
especially compound ones, assume under the influence of the fihangiT^g 
lights of nature. 

The effect which sunlight produces upon all colours, even those which 
are considered the most distinct and powerful, demands the first attention 
of the landscape-painter. This light is ever changing, — ^the roseate hue of 
morning giving place to the noontide glow ; this again passing into the rich 
yellow tints of the setting sun ; these changes affording constant op* 
portunity of observing how colours are affected by variations of light. 
In fact, coloured bodies are only seen in what artists consider their true 
colours when viewed by a cool and moderate daylight, and free from the 
direct influence of the sun. Hence it is that we should choose a painting- 
room with a northern aspect, as this presents the most desirable light for 
• in-door study. 


Thus the colouis of natnial objects vary according to the quality of the 
light by which they are viewed. A sand-bank, for instance, observed 
partly in a bright light and partly in shadow, wiU not appear altogether 
of its true colour — ^yellow. The part under shadow will not reflect a 
sufficient portion of yellow rays ; and the bright yellow of the other 
part wiU have a tendency to produce on the eye the efPect of its accidental 
colour — ^purple. Some artists, in depicting such an object, would at once 
introduce the accidental colour in a pure state, and represent the part of 
the yellow sand-bank in shadow by a purple tint ; but an accurate study 
of nature does not seem to warrant the total exclusion of the true colour 
of the object in favour of its complementary tint. 

In these and similar cases no precise rules can be given for the guidance 
of the student, since in no two instances will the effects be the sama The 
season of the year, the time of day, the brilliancy of the sun, and the state 
of the atmosphere, all exert their influenca It i& to nature, therefore, that 
the artist must ever have recoursa He must take an enlarged and com- 
prehensive view of her forms under the influence of the thousand aspects 
presented by these changes ; he must trace the result of each effect as it 
occurs, and comprehend at a glance all that bears upon his subject Unless 
this habit of viewing objects and efiGBCts is acquired, it is possible to go 
repeatedly to nature, and, after all our exertions in multiplying sketches, to 
return with a collection of studies, true to the original only when viewed 
by one light, and from one point. There may be abundance of green trees, 
and red-brick walls, because such are constantly to be met with ; but 
a mere repetition of these is of little value, unless they are seen and 
represented under the various appearances produced by the influence of 
sunlight, accidental lights and shadows, and aerial perspectiva 

There is no better method of studying colours, and the various changes 
which they undeigo, than by accurately examining a scene, making a 
faithful transcript of it under different effects, and at each examination 
paying particular attention to the kind of light illumining the whole ; for 
since upon this light the entire impression of the scene must depend, a 
careful study of the light and its effects will relieve the student from the 
serious embarassment often felt, even by men of great experience, in 


detenuining whether the lights of the picture shall be warm or cold As 
they are in nature, so let the artist depict them ; taking care to represent 
the shadows under the influences of a light and efifect corresponding to the 
illuniinated parts • of the picture ; and if this be done faithfully, he will 
doubtless find all the parts harmonising with each other. 

Sir Joshua Eeynolds has given some advice, which, though it is 
especially addressed to historical painters, who have greater power and 
liberty in choosing and arranging the light, shade, and colour of their 
pictures, may yet be useful to painters of landscape. 

In urging general reasons why the light should be warm, though at the 
same time leaving the student free to make his own choice, he remarks, 
" That the lights of a picture ought to be of a warm colour ; for though 
white may be used for the principal light, as was the practice of many of 
the Dutch and Flemish painters, yet it is better to suppose that white to 
be illumined by the yellow rays of the setting sun, as was the manner of 
Titian. The illuminated parts of objects are, in nature, of a warmer tint 
than those that are in the shade. What I have recommended, therefore, is 
no more than that the same conduct be observed in the whole which is 
acknowledged to be necessary in every individual part It is presenting to 
the eye the same efifect as that which it has been (iccmtomed to feel, which 
in this case, as in every other, will always produce beauty. No principle, 
therefore, in our art can be more certain, or is derived from a higher source." 

Whether lights should be warm or cold, as well as other difi&culties 
which arise from too much attention to theory and too little study of 
nature, will be discussed more fuUy hereafter, under the different heads of 
Contrast, Breadth, Aerial Perspective, Tone, &c. 

Taking the colours when exhibited in their material state, it is found 
that red is subjected to many changes under the various influences of light 
and shade. To study this more carefully, examine a red curtain hanging 
at the side of a window in the sunlight ; the highest light is a mere streak 
of white, the local colour being lost ; next to this, that portion of the 
curtain in the half-light appears of a yellow-red or amber ; in a less degree 
of light the true colour is perhaps visible, and this, as seen in the deepest 
shadow, becomes either purple or black, as the light diffused through the 


apartment falls more or less brightly upon it. Again, the same curtain 
will appear reddish brown, crimson, or yellow russet, according to the 
quality of the light by which it is seen. 

What can seem more positive in colour than a red-brick house ; and 
yet, viewed by a strong sunlight, the red appears changed to bright 
yellow, while the part in shade is a purply gray. In sunlight red gains in 
brilliancy, but loses in individuality ; in ordinary artificial light, red, and the 
colours in which red predominates, appear to gain in both these qualities. 

Yellow is indistinct in strong light, and when seen by the sun's rays is 
totally lost ; viewed by a subdued or neutral daylight, it becomes more 
distinct; in artificial light it is greatly changed, and pale yellow can 
scarcely be distinguished from whita These variations are a source of 
difficulty to artists when studying by gaslight, until, by repeated ex- 
periments, they ascertain the exact amount of change to which each colour 
when viewed by such light, is subjected. 

Blue, being very powerful and effective in strong light, is essentially 
a daylight colour ; but in a less degree of light it assumes a more neutral 
hua It does not reflect so much light as the other primaries. From this 
cause, and from its assimilating so closely to the general tint of the 
atmosphere or to mist, it is, as a local colour, soon lost in the distanca 

The above is a brief account of the principal changes that take place 
in the primitive colours under different lights. Similar changes will, in 
a relative d^ree, take place in colours formed by combinations of the 
primaries, each compound partaking of the qualities of its constituent& 
Perhaps the only secondary colour requiring separate notice is green. This 
is the most prominent colour in landscape ; and, as it is a compound of 
the two primaries most affected by changes of light, it is important that 
great attention should be given to its characteristics. When considering 
the green of a landscape, it must be remembered that its general hue is not 
the bright decided colour, compounded of yellow and blue, in the proportion 
of 3 and 8, which forms what may be called a true green ; it must rather be 
described as either a mixture of citrine with blue or gray, or a compound of 
yellow, orange, and blua Even in this modified state, green is subject to 
great changes. In its general character it is cool ajid retiring, reflecting 


but little light, and appearing to belong more to the shadows than the 
lights ; and thus its individuality is soon lost in the distance, where it 
changes into blue or bluish gray. Aa this colour presents the greatest 
discoid to blue, in order to produce a good effect, a harmonising warm 
purple haze, the reddish gray of the atmosphere, or the same tint of 
clouds, is continually required to assimilate its masses with the azure 
blue of the sky. 



HE well-known fact, that individuala pos- 
sess, in veiy different degrees, the power of 
distinguiehing, not only minute shades of 
the same colour, but also the colours most 
strikingly opposed to each other, renders 
t that any want of capacity in this respect 
Cfl an insunnountable barrier in the way of 
excellence in the art of colouring. The 
be remarkably acute in the perception of 
I in form and outline, light and shade, yet bo 
in the power of appreciating the different 
colours as to render its possessor utterly incapable of applying them with 
any degree of accuracy. Public attention has of late been more forcibly 
directed to this imperfection in the visual orgajis by the philosophical 
investigations of Sir David Brewster, Dr. George Wilson, of Edinburgh, 
and others, which have resulted in the discovery that this defect, called 
colour blindness, is far more prevalent than was supposed ; so much so, 
indeed, as to render it most desirable that every railway official, intrusted 
with the chaise of signals, should be carefully tested as to his power of 
distinguishing between the colours, red, green, and white. We shudder at 
the mere contemplation of the fearful catastrophe which might occur from 
mistaking a signal implj-ing dai^i for one denoting safety. 

As an instance of imperfect vision, we may quote an anecdote related 
of the celebrated chemist. Dr. Dalton, who thoi^ht the red gown in which 
he was installed as a Doctor of Civil Law, at Oxford, was a blue one. 
Some of his friends, in order to test this peculiarity of his vision, sub- 
stituted red stockings for those he usually wore, when the Doctor put them 
on without remarking an3^hing particular in their appearance ; and even 


on his attention being directed to them, he only remarked that they looked 
rather dirty. Perhaps the whole amount of light conveyed to his eye was 
merely diminished, without being otherwise changed ; and thus white 
stockings may have appeared to him gray instead of white, as they would 
have done had all the rays entered his eye, and impressed their full pro- 
portions on that organ. I can give no opinion as to how far this defect 
may be remedied by a careful education of the eye. We know that by 
cultivation the organ of hearing may be rendered more capable of dis- 
tinguishing sounds ; and, judging jfrom analogy, we may suppose that the 
organ of sight also, by proper training, might be equally improved in its 
power of discriminating colours ; at aU events, it is important to those 
desirous of studying colour to ascertain their exact amount of power in this 
respect. Shoidd they discover any defect, not to be remedied either by 
cultivation or the science of the oculist, they must be contented to confine 
their efforts in art to the study of those effects which can be produced by 
the neutrals, black and white. These become more effective, as well as at- 
tractive, by employing them in the form of chalks or pigments on gray paper. 
Some difaculty in naming colours may arise, not from any imperfection 
in the visual organs, but from the want of a clear and distinct nomen- 
clature ; thus we often allow ourselves to designate as yellow those colours 
which are mixtures of yellow and red, or of yeUow and blue, in different 
proportions. The pigments denominated red are by no means pure ; in 
fact, the landscape-painter's colour-box may not contain one red ; as 
carmine (the nearest approach to a pure red) is seldom used in his branch 
of the art Again, there are blues, like Prussian blue, of a greenish hue ; 
while others, like smalt, are purple. With the view, then, of avoiding 
confusion, as weU as unnecessarily taxing the memory of the student, we 
must be careful to render the names of colours and their compounds as 
simple and accurate as possible; and to impress their appearance more 
fully on the minds of youth, large diagrams representing the primary, 
secondary, and tertiary colours, with their names attaxihed to them, would 
be a valuable addition to our elementary schools. The pupils should be 
exercised by looking at these in bright sunshine, ordinary daylight, and the 
declining light of evening, and thus be taught to distinguish each colour 



clearly. Such a practice might form the preliminary study ; the primaries 
should then be taken, and the pupils directed to ascertain whether, after 
looking steadfastly at each in the sunshine, they can perceive its accidental 
colour, on the eye being directed to a white surface. These, and similar 
exercises, would strongly impress the mind of the student with the general 
principles of harmonious contrasts, and thus prepare a sure foundation for 
good and efifective colouring ; rendering unnecessary much of the present 
endless and unprofitable labour of describing tints and mixturea 

Among the primary colours, yellow and blue are least liable to be mis- 
taken ; while red is the most difficult to be distinguished, some persons not 
seeing it as a distinct colour at all, but merely as a neutral gray, others 
mistaking it for green, its accidental colour ; which among the secondaries 
presents the greatest difficulty; and this is by no means extraordinary, 
when we consider how closely, in many of its qualities, it resembles blue, 
and how strong the affinity it possesses for its accidental colour, red This 
affinity causes some difficulty even to those who have no defect of vision ; 
thus the eyes of locomotive-engine drivers, having been fatigued by 
dwelling on the bright red light of the fire, have a tendency either to lose 
the power of perceiving any less intense colour, or to produce the acci- 
dental colour, green. In this state their eyes cannot at the moment 
distinguish coloured flags, which must necessarily have far less brilliancy 
than the light at which they have just been looking. In the other two 
primaries, the affinity for the accidental colour is not so strongly marked. 

In regarding these phenomena^ attention must be paid to the distance 
of the coloured body from the eye. Dr. Wilson instances a young civil 
engineer who could not distinguish, unless he was close to them, " a red 
from a green light, yet he could tell a blue from a red light, at any practical 
distance." Distance, therefore, is an element of deception; indeed, ex- 
periments have shown that the majority of those who are colour-blind can 
distinguish, with great ease, red from green, when these colours are bright, 
near the eye, and well illuminated ; but the power of discrimination 
diminishes with great rapidity as they recede from the coloured object. 
Colour-blindness, in those unable at a little distance to distinguish red 
from bright green, may be detected by their inability to perceive the 


difference between russets and ruddy browns, near at hand, from oUves 
and dark greens. 

Some amusing trials were lately made by the author to test the capa- 
bilities of a pupil whose friends wished him to learn drawing, but who, 
either from idleness or diffidence, maintained that he had no eye for form 
or colour. This youth could tell to an inch the height of any of his 
companions ; he knew, to the breadth of a line, any difference in the size 
of a ball ; and in length and thickness of cricket-bats he was quite an 
oracle. Experimenting on his perception of colour, it was found that he 
could distinguish^ without difficulty, the most delicate variations in the 
colour of the hair or complexion, and what was doubtless a far more 
interesting exercise of his visual organs, he could, without hesitation, 
choose by its tint the ripest peach or apple, and appreciate the down on 
the untouched plum or grape. 




c^ S the object of this treatise is to place before students 
in art the results of the labour and researches 
of others in as simple a form as possible, it is 
\ I of the greatest importance that the system laid 
down^ and the terms used, should be in accordance 
with those employed by the highest authoritiea Fortunately 
we possess a large number of rules, founded on well-tried 
principles, which, having been adopted by artists who have 
left imperishable names, remain still on record in the pro- 
ductions by which their fame was acquired. The effect of these 
principles, even when not defined in language, has repeatedly appeared in 
great works of art ; and it is the author's desire to notice and illustrate 
them in as clear a manner as the united efforts of his brush and pen will 
permit In conveying this knowledge, great difficulties present themselves, 
which arise not so much from deficiency of information as from the remark- 
able iiTCgularity and indefinite character of the various terms used by 
artists and amateurs. To obviate these, we proceed to notice some of the 
terms generally employed, and to explain the sense in which they are to be 
understood throughout this work. 

The names of the prismatic colours, established by Newton and other 
natural philosophers, being clear and distinct, have been employed without 
hesitation in Section IL It has been explained that artists, after dividing 
these colours into primary and secondary, have taken in addition the 
tertiary compounds, or primary hues arising from the admixture of the 
secondary colours. Each of these hues, containing one of the three 
primaries in a double proportion, they distinctively call a hue of that 
primary to which it bears the greatest afi&nity. The term first or primary 
hues is applied to colours of this class, because they come immediately 
in order after the first and second groups of colours. 

The word Tint is to be considered as particularly applying to colours in 


their different varieties ; thus yellows are lemon-yellow, straw-colour, amber, 
&c. ; red appears as rose-colour, crimson, scarlet, &c. ; blue, as sky or azure 
blue, indigo, &c. ; these being the tints of yellow, red, and blue respectively. 
In oil-painting, colours tempered or subdued by white are called Tints ; 
they correspond to those which in water-colours are reduced by water. The 
latter are sometimes designated Stains; but this term is seldom used, 
unless to express an almost imperceptible effect, such as that produced by 
the portion of a delicate rose-madder tint left on the sky, after the whole 
colour has apparently been washed off. As the drawing, however, advances 
towards completion, the result is obvious ; the sttdn itseK is scarcely seen, 
yet the effect it produces — ^namely, a warm aerial glow — ^prevents the blues, 
afterwards laid on, from looking positive and cold in colour : in this sense, 
the term may be used in the practice of art. 

The term Half Tints expresses those mean or middle degrees of colour 
either between foil illumination and deep shadow, or between the full 
strength or expression of the colour, and those shades of it in which the 
colour is scarcely discernible ; these are sometimes also called Broken Tints. 
Eubens is supposed to have placed full tints side by side in his pictures, 
and then to have mingled them by sweeping or dragging a brush over 
them ; thus harmonising the whole by blending the colours. 

The term Shade may denote different degrees in the depth of colour, 
but belongs more .particularly to shadow, or to colours in shadow and their 
deeper tones, when they have more aflftnity to darkness than to light, 
I believe this to be the general acceptation of the term. Hay has so 
used it in his Nomenclature of Colours ; for in Plate V. of that work, 
fig. 1, there called a tint, is of a pale rose-colour, tmd contrasted with 
fig. 4, called a shade of myrtle green. Again, when these experiments 
are reversed in Plate VI. the green is called the tint, and the term shade 
applied to a deep chocolate, or shade of red. 

Tone — ^a term evidently borrowed firom the art of music — ^is used in a 
more extended signification than either tint or shade. It may be considered 
as expressing the harmonious arrangement of combined tints and shades, 
being equally applicable to neuti-al colouring : thus, we may say of a sepia 
or gray drawing that it requires tone, meaning that the quantities of light 


and shade should be blended in a greater degree. It is also applicable 
either to cool or warm colours ; thus, speaking of a picture, we may say 
that it has a cool tone or a warm tone, or that it has become toned by age. 
Haydon, in his Autobiography, speaks of toning down his pictures with 
a large brush and a^phaltum, and describes this act of giving tone to his 
pictures as one of the artist's greatest delights. Tone may likewise indicate 
the opposite of rawness. Tones may be said to be pure when they are 
obtained by the primary hues being placed in such positions that the eye 
regards the whole as a mass of various colours blended into one ; or they 
may be denominated pure, when they result from true mixtures of the 
secondary colours. The term may be applied when describing golden or 
autumnal hues, deep reddish browns, as chestnut or auburn ; the expression 
full-tonedy when speaking of such colours as pomona green ; and deep-toned, 
when indicating those fine shades of red and purple called marroon, or olive 
green. Lastly, tone is used by artists to convey the idea of that blending of 
colours by the addition of some other or others in a transparent state ; 
which, when done with judgment, assists in harmonising the colouring, and 
adding to the repose and breadth of the whole. We use this term very 
freely, — far too freely, — ^and thus render its signification very vague. 

Unity — a term equally applicable to a painting either in respect to its 
light and shade, or to its colour — implies an harmonious connexion of 
colours; thus 6ne colour may be united to another, ndt by position and 
concord alone, but by some third condition ; as when a transparent glazing 
of colour passes equally over the two, they become blended or united. 
Colours may be united in a pure state by stippling, or interlacing them, as 
it were, vdth one another in small portions. In its widest sense, unity 
means that the various parts of the picture are so systematically arranged 
as to convey the idea of their perfect connexion. 

Bbeadth implies that either light and shade, or colour, are in mcMseSy 
and not divided into small portions. The expression breadth of light does 
not convey the idea of a mass of light equally intense in all its parts, but of 
one graduated insensibly by half tints, and having a central spot like a focus, 
whence the light, diminishing by degrees, is diffused throughout the picture 
or adjacent parts. Breadth of shade signifies that the shadow is not broken 


or separated by any small portions of light, but in one mase, varying in 
depth, some parts being of greater intensity than others. We may likewise 
employ the term breadth when speaking of a mass of colours, which, how- 
ever various in hue, are for the most part either of a warm or cold character, 
and undisturbed by the prominency of any single colour. 

For examples of breadth of shadow, we cannot have a finer master 
than Rembrandt, who, by a large and well graduated mass of shade, fre- 
quently caused a small amount of light to be extremely effectiva It is said 
that during Ms early youth he lived in a windmill, the only light admitted 
to the interior of which came through a small upper window ; and thus, 
being left to study the efifect of concentrated light, he ever after treated 
out-door as well as in-door subjects in the same manner. On the other 
hand, for illustration of breadth obtained by the introdnction of large messes 
of light, there can be no hesitation in referring the student to the pictures 
of Turner, who, in strong contrast to Eembrandt, was well known to be 
greatly attached to this treatment of subjects. 

Bbeadth of Tone is obtained by placing not only the primitive but the 
secondary colours, and primary hues, in snch relative positions that the eye 
passes on without any sudden interraption. 

Habhont expresses the arrangement of colours, varying in their propor- 


tions and degrees of purity, in such positions that the result is agreeable to 
the eya This does not imply that there shaU be any certedn proportion 
observed between the warm and the cold parts. Harmony may exist in 
pictures, or in combinations of hues, &c. which are nearly all cool, and also 
in those of which the tones are of the opposite character, — ^yet it is essential 
that the colours, hues, or tones composing a picture should be so arranged 
that, however varied the parts, one prevailing sentiment may pervade the 
whole. Thus, should the majority of colours and hues in a picture be 
illuminated by a warm setting sun, and the rest by a pure white daylight, 
the whole would be deficient in harmony ; or should some portion of colour 
in the form of a flag, having a tone approaching that of the sky, but not of 
the whole mass (as rose-colour or emerald green), be introduced on a stormy 
sky of a lurid reddish tone, it would be out of harmony with the rest of the 
picture, jar on the feelings, and annoy the sensitive eye. This want of 
harmony would be evident to the most imeducated in art, nearly all persona 
being conscious of any incongruity of tone, though few can explain the 
cause. The remains of early colouring, in the Egyptian tombs and the 
buildings of Pompeii, show that the decorators among the ancients pro- 
duced harmony by the use of the three primitive colours in conjunction 
with black and white ; this they did by skilfully adjusting these colours in 
due proportion ; when their union with blax^k and white — ^which, represent- 
ing light and shade, possess great harmonising power-^-gave the desired 
result. The efifect attained by the well-judged use of these pigments was 
greatly assisted by the air, distance, and the light and shade of the building 
in which they were placed. In speaking of the changes to which colours 
are subjected by distance or aerial perspective, even in the purest air and 
climate, it has been remarked, that all the primitives thus changed become 
broken colours. For instance, a strong pure yellow becomes a broken 
yellow ; red is changed to orange ; blue to an indefinite gray ; hence, in 
estimating the conditions of harmony, distance tmd the prevailing atmo- 
sphere must be taken into account. Lastly, it should be remembered, that 
although such harmonising influence has great effect on the expanse of 
nature, yet it has little or none on the picture ; for this being only a few 
feet from our eyes, the space intervening occupied by the atmosphere is too 


small to be subject to any sensible change ; so that we mnst rather exagge- 
rate the natural effect, and mark all the changes occurring through these 

Local Colour. The natural colour of an object, when seen in ordi- 
nary daylight, and at a convenient distance, as a sheet of paper at arm's- 
length, a tree at twice or thrice its height, &c. The true local colour of 
any object is not visible in sunlight, being then lost in light ; nor in shade, 
for then it is either absorbed in darkness or altered by accidental influences, 
such as reflections, &c. Owing to these influences, it follows that very little 
of the local colour of an object is depicted ; nor should the student be too 
anxious to show it as he knows it to be, but rather as it appears at the time 
when he is studying it. (See Chapter I. Section III. on the "Effect of 
Predominating light") 

Taking out. Eecovering the light or white of the paper, by removing, 
in various ways, the colour previously laid on ; a mode of obtaining high or 
secondary lights that is in some instances more effectual than using body- 
colour. It gives great force, texture, and character to the foreground, and is 
more fully described in the " Mode of Working," Chapter III. Section IV. 

Blotting in. An expression used by many water-colour artists when 
they want to describe the laying in masses of varied tones, graduating one 
into another. This is done with a moderately-fuU brush, so that the colours 
mingle to a certain extent, but not so full as when required for a wash ; it 
is supposed to represent the general middle tone, and is laid in without 
attending to either the highest lights or the deepest shadows. More fidly 
described in " Mode of Working." 

Scale. Besides the usual meaning of objects being drawn to a scale, 
when one-third or less of the si^e, &c., this term is used to denote the rela- 
tive degrees that the tones of a picture hold to nature, or to each other. 
For example, a picture may be executed in a high scale when pure white is 
introduced, and the tints are graduated with reference to that colour, as 
they are in many of Tumer^s later pictures; or in Titian's, where they 
graduate in rich deep tones from yeUow; or in Eembrandt^s, descending 
rapidly from a small portion of high light to a middle tone, but graduating 
more slowly in the deeper tones. 


FoRBGEOUNB. That part of the picture which appears nearest to the 
spectator. With the exception of such portions of the landscape as moun- 
tains, whose large dimensions cause some of their parts to retire, every 
object may in turn occupy the foreground : the careful delineation of parts, 
instead of complete landscapes, shoiQd therefore form the young artist's 
first studies. This is so important that it is treated at length in Chapter FV. 
Section III, and in a small work called Foliage and Foregrounds. 

Backoeound. An expression more used in portrait and figure subjects 
than in landscapes, as the different parts of a landscape are more frequently 
mentioned in detail ; as sky, distance, middle-distance, &a 

AccESSOEiES. More used in figure subjects or portraits ; referring to 
objects and materials independent of the principal subject, being used to fill 
up parts that without them would appear naked, to establish a balance 
between the masses, to form the contrast, to contribute to the harmony of 
colours, and so add to the splendour and richness of a picture. Little used 
in landscapes, as, if the principal object be a ruin, or some interesting point, 
we prefer when speaking to name the surrounding objects in detail, as moun- 
tains, boats, figures, &c. 

Keeping. Although generally considered as attention to the proper 
subserviency of tone and colour, is sometimes used vaguely; it may mean — 
not in perspective, either linear or aerial ; thus some part of the picture not 
in unison with others iA ovi, of keeping, meaning out of harmony , wanting 
some quality to put it in its proper place, — failing in distance, force, or 
colour ; also to be crude is to want keeping. Another word of the same 
general signification among artists, but scarcely defensible, is raw or raw- 
nes8 ; which, if allowed, would necessarily require another term, namely, 
cooking; and this would certainly be exceedingly annoying to artists, the 
majority of whom would much rather be told tha1> their painting was 
raw than that it wanted "cooking:" we should therefore be cautious in 
using indefinite terms. 

Repose. A quality not difficult to understand, but very difficult 
to obtain without monotony. Large ideas of the subject at the com- 
mencement, and a correct appreciation of the different value of the 
various parts, will assist the young artist in preserving repose, or the 


quiet sustaining harmony of the whola It applies to form, light and shade, 
and colour. Those portions of the picture in repose will then support 
the more attractive or brilliant spots ; tiiey may at the same time repeat 
or echo the principal light or colour, and thus prevent these spots fi»m 
being too isolated or unconnected with the rest of the picture, which 
may, xinder such circumstances, be said to be well put together, or, when 
deficient in these qualities, want putting together. 

Motion is used more with respect to lines and forms than to colour, and 
expresses variety and action, in opposition to rqK)se. 

Belief may refer to small as well as to large subjects. A drawing of a 
fly may want rel^f, if the delicate cast shadow of the body, limbs, or wings, 
fails to convey the idea that the insect is resting on its legs at a slight dis- 
tance from the paper. Young students must not suppose, that to obtain 
force an t)bject must be relieved by a violent opposition of light and shade, 
or an equally strong opposition of colours ; nor is it even necessary to have 
cutting lines or edges that may cause the object to be mistaken for reality, 
like the representation of a damaged engraving with the comer turned up, 
or the head of a smuggler thrust out over the gold frame. This is taking a 
very narrow view of the term. On the contrary, an olgect may be suffi- 
ciently relieved by delicate alterations in tone, or contrasts of harmonising 
colours, and yet be mainly absorbed in the surrounding objects or back- 
ground; in nature an object is rarely equally relieved all round, more 
generally the larger quantity of the outline is scarcely distinguishable either 
in form or colour from them, and this repose gives double effect to the 
smaller portion that tells, or is telling; that is to say, that has striking 

Effect. The impression produced upon the mind by the sight of a 
picture; but pictorial effect, or effects^ we take to mean some predominating 
light and shade or colour in addition to those belonging to, or produced by, 
objects in the picture. This may influence a part or the whole of the scene, 
and may represent a pictorial phenomenon of nature, such as the rays of the 
sun darting through a cloud, or from behind a mountain at sunrise, sunset, 
&c. ; rain, with rainbow, a storm, &c. The simple light and shade belonging 
to each object, however carefully represented, will not make an effect, nor 


will objects thus treated, when placed side by side, form a picture; this 
appears to be forgotten by many young artists, who imagine that if they 
paint each object with exceeding care, that they must at last make a pleas- 
ing picture ; on the contrary, one portion of the scene must have reference 
to another. K the distance is all minutely painted up to the focus of the 
eye when looking at it, and afterwards figures be added equally minutely 
studied' and important, the whole effect is injured, and the eye is distracted 
by continually looking from one to the other. It is said that when Mul- 
ready first exhibited his " Whistonian Controversy," the table-cover was so 
beautifully finished and coloured, that it attracted the attention from the 
countenances of the players, and it was not until he had subdued the 
pattern in form and colour that the great doubt and anxiety depicted on the 
faces were noticed, and the effect rendered complete. Accidental Lights or 
Shadows may form part of an effect. (See Chapter III. Section II.) 

Sentiment. This term is used by some for the predominating effect or 
story of the picture. 

E^ET — ^Focus. Artists and colourists use these terms to express that 
spot or concentration of light or colour that appears to combine or contrast 
with most energy the tints or shades difiused throughout the work ; they 
may then be said to be focused. Thus, many of the pearly grays and deli- 
cate broken purples or greens in a marine subject may be set off and united 
by some bright spots on a painted buoy lying in shallow water or the sea- 
beach. This may be the key to the whole colouring ; it may also be made 
the focus to the light and shade, and is thus made serviceable in more than 
one of Turner's pictures besides the "Fighting Km^raire." Artists have 
great faith in the mysterious power of this key or focus ; accordingly it is 
supposed not only to unite and bring forward tones scattered over the pic- 
ture, but also to send some back, and clear up others. To do this it is not 
wonderful that lights and shades, and also colours, have to be greatly forced 
or exaggerated, and that emerald green and vermilion are often harnessed 
side by side to drag a crude performance into unison. However, to force 
the effect by exaggerating in some degree the difference in distances, or the 
effect of air, mist, or light, and thus concentrate more power than would 
be found in an equal portion of the panorama, may sometimes be allowed, 


but the young artist should first be content simply to copy the efifects he 
finds in nature. 

DiBTY Tints, in colouring, express that the tone neither represents true 
light and shade, nor yet true colouring. Thus, if spots of impure opaque 
colour are produced in the sky or distance where we know there ought to be 
pure aerial tints, and if these spots indicate no form, but only distract the 
attention, the whole may be called dirty. Should this occur in the delicate 
shading of a face, not only in the shadows, where there ought to be no irre* 
gulfur spots, but also in the light flesh-tints, it is particularly observable and 
reprehensible. Dirty tints are most frequently the result of inexperience or 
timidity in using colours ; thus, passing wash after wash of various pigments, 
without attentiom to their different qualities, will soon produce this disagree- 
able result. To prevent it, the student should make experiments with 
his pigments, and thus learn beforehand the result and effect different 
washes or mixtures will produce. In landscape, if the three primitives are 
used in too equal proportions, there will arise a degraded tone, neither like 
pure gray nor brown, but resembling opaque dirt ; and if this is rubbed 
about, or produced by the repetition of washes or tints over one another 
without order, the whole will be void of transparency or any determinate 
connexion with one primary more than another. Nothing produces this 
unwished-for effect sooner than laying on the first general wash too strong, 
and with an impure yellow, for the red and blue following will be sure to 
produce dirty tones. If, in such a case, washing with a sable and plenty of 
water does not overcome it, and prepare it to receive some purer tint of a 
more agreeable tone, it is better to sponge the whole and fairly remove 
the faulty yellow laid on at the beginning. 

Bboeen Colours are produced by the mixture of one or more pigments ; 
or pigments may be found containing a slight proportion of one with a larger 
proportion of another. Thus, yellow ochre is called a broken or subdued 
yellow, having a smaU quantity of reddish brown in it, and it is safer to use 
on many occasions than breaking yellow down by too much mixing. 

Air — ^Atmosphebk The imitation of the effects of the atmosphere, 
regarded as a fluid medium through which forms are visible. When the 
forms are well detached, the picture has air. 


Execution, BLandling, Manipulation. These terms, with many- 
others, are used when speaking of the mode of working necessary to bring 
about an artist's perfonnance. However much we may fear mannerism in 
our way of expressing our ideas, we must not prevent, by too much caution 
and timidity, the young student fix)m endeavouring to acquire at the very 
beginning a vigorous and eflfective way of expressing his ideas. When 
learning a language, eveiy word is first pronounced slowly and with great 
precision; the pupil hears his teacher pronounce it over and over again, 
then he endeavours to imitate the exact sound ; and, going on to sentences, 
he makes equal efforts to obtain the proper emphasis, and at last he suc- 
ceeds in giving the just expression and value to every word he uttera All 
this seems very simple in language ; it appUes equally to art Let the lan- 
guage and grammar of art be first learned in the same precise and decided 
way, under the eye of a careful and expert master ; let the pupil watch 
his mode of handling his different instruments, and not grudge labour in 
endeavouring to do the same things in the same way ; he will then go to 
nature with some power at least of imitation, and not feel so utterly at a 
loss tiiat he is afraid even of touching a pencil or making the slightest 
sketch. Let him adopt the best and most expressive style he can find. If 
it does not express his own ideas of nature, he wOl soon invent a better ; 
but surely, in this language as in another, if ^' English-French " is different 
-from " French-French,** it is better than no French at alL 

Mannkb — Style. (See Chapter IV. Section XI.) 

Hatching, Stippling, Scubcbling, Glazing, Dragging. (See "Mode 
of Working," Chapter IIL Section IV.) 

High Lights. (See " Light and Shade," Chapter III. Section II.) 

Chxab'oscubo, or light and shada (See Chapter III. Section IV.) 

Composition. (See Chapter IIL Section I.) 





for a judicioua and exact arrangeDient of colours in respect to the various 
hues and tints affords considerable assistance in the practice of the art. The 
pigments should always occupy the same positions in relation to each other, 
in order that there may be no hesitation in dipping the brush into the colour 
required. A brilliant effect of sunlight and shadow may pass away, and 
with it the opportunity of recording its most striking features, while search 
is being made, on a disorderly palette, for the colours requisite to give 
a faithful representation of its fleeting beauties. It is precisely in such 



transient effects that memory generally fails to supply the want of 
memoranda made at the moment. 

Again, in the working out of a favourite conception, every student must 
be aware of the value of facility of hand. While he feels the whole power 
of his mind scarcely adequate to the realisation of the glowing images of his 
fancy, he should not voluntarily subject himself to the irritations and loss 
of time proceeding fix)m an absence of order in the disposition of his 
materials. No one, so far advanced in artistic power as to permit himself 
a flight into the regions of imagination, can ever designate such trials as 
petty. He must feel that their influence may suffice to tarnish the splendour 
of the brightest day-dream in which he may allow himself to indulge. 

In the arrangement of the pigments, the Author has adopted that 
order of succession which, by experience, he has found most useful and 

In the moist-colour box, represented at the head of this Section, twenty 
pigments are given, consisting of those best adapted for Landscape-Painting. 
Commencing at the upper end, they succeed each other in the following 
order : — 












paYne's gray. 









The box being placed on the left hand, or on that side of the drawing, 
the yellows will be furthest from the person. The rounded cover of the box, 
being divided into three cup-like forms, is for mixing washes when out of 
doors and it is inconvenient to carry saucers ; the flat flap is that on which 
the brush is touched to mix or vary tint^ In large works, however, it is 
almost necessary to carry a few saucers, and three or four of the pigments 
the most used, such as cobalt, yellow ochre, gamboge, and brown madder, in 
collapsible tubes ; these can be placed in large masses on the palette, or 
rapidly made into washes in the saucers, for covering large surfacea The 
pigments contained in these boxes ought not to dry and crack ; but as they 
will soa^etimes do so when long exposed to the s\m and drying wind, they 



should be shut up as soon as possible. A small piece of sponge, cut square 
and kept wet, or a damp strip of linen laid over them before they are 
covered at night, will render them moist and easier to work. If at any 
time a pan of colour is put in to replace one exhausted, the bottom of it 
should be either pasted or gummed, as otherwise it is apt to shake about, 
and sometimes adhere to the cover. 

Although portable moist-colour boxes rarely contain more than the 
above list of pigments, there are many more which the experienced artist 
finds f{ use, either in obtaining certain effects, or as substitutes for some of 
those already named. An enlarged scale of twenty-five pigments has been 
placed before the student in Plate 4, having an order approximating to 
that which they occupy in the box, and at the same time extended in 
such a manner as to present to the eye, at one view, an harmonious 
arrangement of colours. 

The above pigments have been selected as most generally useful and 
eligible for water-colour painters. It would be easy to increase their 
number ; but it is better for the student to become thoroughly acquainted 
with these in the first instance, and afterwards, if desirable, to add or 
substitute others. 

In this general view of the pigments employed, we may as well note 
how far it is possible so to dispose them as to imitate that breadth of 
tone frequently observed in nature, where one hue passing into another 
that differs from it only in a slight degree yet harmonises with it, is 
constantly creating agreeable changes and gradations of colour. This 
almost imperceptible alteration of colour is distinct from those more 
striking oppositions called contrcuts, and although not apparently so im- 
portant, should occupy the young artist's most careful attention, he will 
then perceive that colour in nature is almost always gradated ; the study 
of it, therefore, in detail, as well as contrasts, will form the subject of 
some illustrations in a future portion of this work. 




S, or pigments, as they are more 
jailed, are now prepared either in a 
Iry state. The moist pigments are so 
their preparation, at the same time so 
md convenient, that they are almost 
y employed. Presenting a mass of 
ur, from which any quantity can be 
obtained without previous rubbing, 
they are particularly seiTiceable in 
sketching from natufe. In the for- 
cible painting required in the fore- 
ground of a picture, they become 
doubly valuable ; for in this part 
of the subject the artist has need of 
small portions of pure colour to drag, scumble, or intermix with those 
already supplied ; so that, instead of losing, he may rather add to the 
rough texture of the paper ; and this power he obtains by taking up on 
the point of hia brush such pigments as he requires ; tlie main body of 
colour in his brush not being washed out, but remaining U) influence more 
or less the portions thus taken up. 

But useful and convenient as they undoubtedly are, they have not super- 
seded the dry or cake colours for the pure and delicate washes and tints 
required at the commencement of every large work ; these are best executed 
with the latter, rubbed up either on an earthen palette or in saucers. The 
tints made with the pigments in cake are purer, and give more appearance 
of air to the sky and distance than can be obtained with the moist colours. 
"When cake colours are employed, it is recommended that a few of those 
tints required in the sky should be rubbed on a large flat slab, or tile, about 
twelve inches square. This will give space fo prepare a sufficient quantity 


to allow of washes or tints in the sky or distance being completed without 
again having recourse to the colour-box. By this means those slight alter- 
ations iA the tint, which are almost inseparable from every renewal, are 

Having included nearly all the pigments most eligible for the water- 
colour painter in the preceding list and accompanying plate, we will now 
proceed to give a brief description of their prominent qualities ; but, before 
doing so, we may remark, that among these almost every artist has his 
favourites, for which, by frequently resorting to their use, he shows his pre- 
dilection. The student, however, should beware of giving way to any such 
bias in favour of a particular pigment ; as such a custom, joined to an ill- 
r^ulated fancy, may aflfect the whole colour of his works. 

In this selection will be found those pigments considered by Mr. Field 
and other authorities as permanent in most situations, and under most cir- 
cumstances. One or two of them, adopted only for particular eflfects, will 
be described hereafter. It must be remembered, that pigments are likely 
to stand best, and are most transparent, where they are least mingled with 
others. We must therefore select such as represent the colours we desire 
to produce, and degrade them as little as possible by mixture. By studying 
their different hues, in the graduated scale, Plate 4, the student will become 
acquainted with their fitness for his purpose, and thus be greatly assisted in 
his selection. 

On the palette, as weU as in the box, the same order shoidd be retained, 
commencing with yellow, as being the best representative of light, and passr 
ing on from left to right, to orange, red, russet, citrine, and neutrals, and 
lastly to blue. Each division of the diagram shows the pigment with a 
gradual increase of colour. 

It is hardly necessary to explain that light or dark, as regards these 
examples, does not imply a change in the colour used, but that the differ- 
ence in their degrees of intensity is caused by more or less of the white 
light of the paper appearing through them. 

In addition to the pigments displayed in the diagram, we must mention 
white ; for although, strictly speaking, it cannot be considered as a colour, 
but rather as an opaque body representing light, yet it is so much used to 


mix with other pigments, and is so important in recovering light on certain 
parts of the picture, that it claims precedence in our descriptions. 


Zinc white, or oxide of zinc, called also Chinese white, although it has 
not the opacity or solidity of white-lead, is nevertheless, owing to its per- 
manence, the more eligible pigment. Employed with discretion, it is of 
great importance in water-colour painting ; afTording us, when blended 
with some of the warmer colours, the means of recovering any bright 
lights which we may have lost. By using it thin, and scumbling over 
some of the distant tints, an appearance of air is given ; but it must be con- 
fessed it is air charged with moisture, not the pure transparent medium, 
through which the form and colours of all objects are so distinctly seen. It 
is more successfully used in opaque touches in light, and confined to the 
foreground, and should be toned down by the addition of some warm pig- 
ment ; when dragged over the rough paper, it gives great solidity, richness, 
and variety of texture. The preparation has arrived at great excellence ; 
and the pigment is generally pure and easily worked, drying without any 
material alteration of colour ; but as the least trace of iron will cause it to 
change colour with sulphuretted hydrogen, or the foid air from gas, drains, 
&c., all who use it should try it themselves, by laying a wash on a strip of 
pure white paper, one half of which they should submit, while wet, to such 
gases ; the other they shoidd carefully guard between sheets of paper. On 
comparing the two, they will easily perceive whether the white changes 
colour ; if it does, they may depend upon it all their lights will go in the 
same way, if exposed to similcur influences. 


A luminous vivid yellow, rather pale and opaque, but still, being perma- 
neni^ much to be preferred in water-colour paintmg to Naples yellow, which 
has not that quality. It is sometimes used in the first light washes in the 
sky or distance, and also over other colours ; or, when slightly modified by 
them, it may be applied in small briUisuit touches, in order to give the 
brightest lights on foliage. 



A bright transparent yellow, veiy important in making most kinds of 
green ; those with indigo or Prussian blue are clear and cool. With the 
addition of burnt Sienna, or other transparent orange colours, it makes a 
rich and easily-varied autumnal tint; with sepia, Payne's gray, or*T)lack, 
it forms sober greens, as useM as they are numerous ; and with brown 
madder, a rich autumnal tint. Not having a retiring quality, caution is 
necessary when employing it in the distance. Gamboge is a vegetable 
gum ; and though not quite permanent, is considered one of the best yellow 
pigments for the above purpose. 


Has greater body and depth of colour than gamboge, and is of a rich golden 
hue. Combined with indigo, Prussian or French blue, it makes deep in- 
tense greens ; and with burnt Sienna or brown madder, pure and glowing 
autumnal tints. Care, however, must be observed in its application, as it 
is apt to produce tints too strong and forced. Having these qualities, it is 
more employed in the foregrounds than in the distance. 


The ochres are among the most ancient and valuable of our pigments, 
and are found abundantly in this and other countries. They vary very 
much in colour, fix)m a bright (not vivid or pure) jellow to a deep brown. 
They are not powerful ; but possessing a slight degree of opacity and a 
retiring quality, they are frequently employed in forming the subdued 
greens of the middle or extreme distanca The most useful is yellow ochre, 
which may be considered in some degree broken — that is to say, a mixed 
colour, partaking slightly of a reddish character ; this produces a neutral 
quality, causing it to be often used in combination with another mixed 
colour, namely, brown madder, to make a warm neutral orange for the first 
or harmonising tint, intended to give a general idea of sunlight and warmth, 
without any positive colour. The other ochres, with the exception of Eoman 


ochre, are little used ; the latter is deeper, and rather more transparent than 
yellow ochre. 


Sienna, in its natural state, is of rather an impure or tawny yellow. 
Being very transparent, it is excellent for forming the first greenish hues of 
water, whether as seen on the placid lake or in the moving waves of the sea; 
and, on account of these qualities, raw sienna is the pigment best adapted 
to represent the reflections of the sky-tones given by yellow ochre. With 
the addition of a little crimson lake or red, it may be made as available 
for distant greens as (when pure) for those occurring in the foreground. 
Having a tendency to be uneven on the paper, it does not work very well. 


A rich orange russet colour, very transparent and powerful, — qualities 
which, added to its working with great facility, render it one of the most 
valuable pigments for giving warmth and vigour to the colour of roads, 
sand-banks, &c. Combined with indigo, Prussian blue, and any of the 
transparent yellows, it produces fine greens, varying from a bright citrine to 
a deep olive. 


This important addition to the list of yellows is a bright warm colour, 
approaching to orange. Owing to some irregularity in the mode of pre- 
paring this pigment, its colour is not always the same ; but it affords the 
greatest variety to the, palette, when differing most from Indian yellow or 
chrome. It is so luminous, that light tints in the sky, &c., may be given 
with it without greatly reducing the quantity of light in the picture. It is 
at present rather expensive ; an objection which will probably soon be 
removed on its becoming more generally employed. 


Is a bright yellow ochre, burnt ; by which operation it acquires warmth, 
colour, and transparency. It has many of the good qualities of yellow 
ochre, with greater power. 



An artificial ochre of a bright rich orange colour. It is prepared from 
iron, and should be employed with caution. Perhaps it is not quite so 
useful as burnt Sienna, from which it may be distinguished by being 
brighter and clearer in tone. 


A preparation of an ochre scarcely to be classed as a red ; indeed, all 
the ochres are broken or indefimte colours. This pigment partakes of the 
russet orange colour, and is very useful when combined with cobalt or 
French ultrarmarine in forming warm grays for the shadows of clouds. 


This is a brilliant opaque pigment of great body and weight. It varies 
much in its colour, and in the facility with which it is worked. Being 
deficient in transparency, and apt to settle away fix)m other pigments, it 
does not form very useful grays or purples. In light and delicate washes, 
however, it produces a glowing warmth in skies, without these defects 
being conspicuous. 


The madder lakes are the most valuable additions made to our palette in 
modem times ; for, besides being permanent, they possess more delicacy 
than the former lakes. With rose madder we can imitate with great truth 
the roseate hues in the evening skies ; and, by adding a little indigo, may 
pass from the first blush of a summer's mom to the purple and subdued 
violet tints of twilight. For the first wash on a pure sky it is preferable to 
brown madder. 


A beautiful transparent red ; which, being less expensive, and possessing 
more power than rose madder, is generally employed in landscapes. Mixed 
with cobalt or French blue, it makes fine purple tints. By adding it to 
the greens of the foreground, we convert them into more neutral colours, 


suitable either for the middle distance, or the purple gray foliage of such 
trees as the Scotch fir, &c. 


This is rather a deeper and purer red than light red. Its mixture 
with cobalt or French blue produces fine purply tints, called by artists 
grays. When the student has become acquainted with the difference 
between these two pigments, he should determine which of them he 
prefers, as the usual moist-colour boxes will not contain both ; and the 
two are unnecessary. 


When fine, this is of a purple russet hue and good body. With it and 
the deeper blues are made great varieties of rich purply tints, much used in 
stormy skies, or on mountains when under the shadow of dark clouds ; but 
it must be employed with moderation, otherwise it will produce heaviness, 
and want of air or distance. 


Is not a pure or brilliant purple ; but has great richness and transparency, 
making, with cobalt or French blue, deep purply tints, which are frequently 
seen in the middle distance when under shadow. For this purpose these 
tints, being both pure and powerful, are preferred to those made with 
Indian red. 


This rich russet-coloured pigment is indispensable in water-colour 
painting. It appears to be the middle hue between orange and purple ; 
and when used in various proportions with yellow ochre, produces a rich 
warm tint on the white paper, preparing it to receive other colours with 
an harmonious effect. With gamboge or Indian yellow, in different 
proportions, it forms fine glowing hues of autumnal foliage. 


A vegetable pigment, made from French berries or dye-woods. It is 


a ricli orange green, much used to fonn the greens of the foreground It is 
easily varied by a small quantity of indigo or transparent yellow. 


This is a fine deep transparent colour, used in the warm rich browns of 
the foreground. When mixed with indigo or French blue, it forms a deep 
neutral green, very effective in representing the shadows of trees in water, 
like the other brown pigments, it does not retire well, but appears con- 
stantly near the eya Brown madder should take its place in the middle 
distance, or it should be subdued by the more aerial blues. 


This pigment is made fix)m the dark liquor procured irom the cuttle-fish, 
and is of a dusky brown colour. It works well, and being agreeable in 
colour, is used as the medium for brush-practice. It harmonises well with 
French blue, with which, and Chinese white, it has been employed on gray 
paper in the present work. This mode of using it forms an excellent 
introduction to the use of colours. 


This is one of the numerous preparations of neutral tints supplied by 
the manufacturers ; but it is generally better for the artist to make these 
combinations for himselt Sometimes, however, as is the case with the 
present pigment, the colourman's constituents are so well chosen and 
incorporated, that the result surpasses any thing that can be obtained at 
the moment by the use either of sepia and indigo or madder and other 
lakes, combined with indigo or French blua 


The best black pigment is that which has the most neutral tone and the 
greatest transparency. Ivory black, when well prepared, possesses these 
qualities in a high degree. Diluted, it forms pure grays, very useful in 
skies, distances, &c. As black in fall force destroys all appearance of 


atmosphere, it is never used in that state for water-colour painting, unless in 
a single spot on a figure in the foreground 


Is a well-known pigment, made from different species of the indigo-fera and 
other plants. Though not so bright as Prussian or Antwerp blue, it is more 
powerful ; and being equally transparent, is very useful for forming the rich 
strong greens of foreground foliage. But, although indigo is so useful, the 
student should employ it with caution, as greens made with it are apt to 
appear cold and black. Prussian blue may, in some instances, be sub- 
stituted for it, and greens suitable for the foregroimd can also be made 
with sepia and Indian yellow, or blue black and gamboga 


A factitious idtra-mtuine, prepared by Guimet and other manufacturers, 
at Paris and elsewhere. Some fine specimens were sent from Strasburg to 
the Exhibition of 1851. Being powerful, and working well, it is, in many 
cases, a good substitute for the real ultra-marine. It is not considered 
quite safe to use in oil-painting ; but for water-colours, it is supposed to be 


Of all our blue pigments this is the most suitable for skies and 
distances. It works well, but is rather opaque ; and, as now manufactured, 
possesses almost as much purity and brilliancy as the real ultra-marine. It 
is deficient in depth ; but this does not prevent its employment in the 
aerial grays of the distance and clouds. 




colour drawing is very important; it influences the 
whole picture in so great a degree as to require careful 
consideration. We must always bear in mind that the light of day 
is to be represented in our drawing by the white surface of the paper va- 
riously modified by transparent washes. This surface, therefore, must be 
preserved as pure as possible, the forms of the highest lights being left in 
nearly the same shape as they are intended to be in the finished picture ; for 
when once the light is degraded, we have no power of recovering it with the 
purity given by the paper in the first instance. In oil-painting, on the con- 
trary, white pigments are employed to represent light ; the latter being 
obtained by gradually painting up from the half lights to those of the 
highest power ; but in water-colour painting the paper itself represents the 
highest lights ; and in those parts of the subject where these are not to 
remain pure, the surface is toned down by delicate and often-repeated washes. 
Paper for water-colours, consequently, should possess some of the quali- 
ties of the best white pigments used by the oil-painters. It should be of a 
pure white, so that the most delicate tints may be used on it without imder- 
going alteration ; and opaque, in order that it may reflect the light falling 
upon it, without much loss by absorption. The surface should be rather 


rough, with a round or convex kind of grain, and free fix)m sharp or an- 
gular depressions ; the colour being apt to settle in these depressions, and 
cause spots which cannot be easily removed. Light falls on the varied sur- 
face of this description of paper with ever-changing degrees of intensity ; 
and being reflected by it, causes much play and variety in tint on this un- 
even texture, yet allows the sight to pass, as it were, between the minute 
portions of colour, and gives them the effect of a pure stippled tint. 

A suif ace that is ribbed, or in lines, is not well adapted to Kght and deli- 
cate drawings, as the lines are likely to interfere with the forms. Thick 
paper, well sized, is to be preferred. It possesses more body and opacity, 
and is not liable to blister, or alter with the various tints and washes ; it is 
also less likely to be cut or rubbed through during the different processes. 
Whatman's drawing-papers are considered the best — the rough imperial, 
weighing 140 lbs. to the ream, for general purposes, and the extra double 
elephant and antiquarian for larger works. Artists avoid the use of hot- 
pressed or fine-grained paper, as the surface does not hold the colour well, 
or admit of the repeated washings which axe sometimes necessary. 

The right side of drawing-paper may be ascertained by holding it up to 
the light, when the maker's name will be seen in its true position ; or by 
bringing it obliquely to the eye, when the surface wiU be found perfect 
on the side intended for use. The other side being sometimes scratched by 
the removal of knots and blemishes from the paper, would take colour very 

It is a frequent mistake with yoimg persons to suppose that, because 
some artists have used a coarse impure paper with success, it expedites the 
drawing ; for the portions of straw and other impurities, which occur in 
those parts representing the sky or distance, counteract the effect of the 
purest tints, and can only be regarded as so many blemishes. Sufficient 
variety of texture can be obtained on a pure white paper ; and if a ground 
tint be required, it can be laid on of any colour or depth on the pure 
surface, and thus afford opportunities of obtaining the lights, either by 
scraping out, or adding with them an opaque white. 

It is much to be regretted, that there is not some process by which paper 
can be dried without hanging the sheets across rods, as this always causes 

PAPER. 63 


some difiference in the grain at the part touching the rod ; and even with the 
most perfect stretching, the paper is rarely strained flat. The maker^s name 
in the middle of the sheet is also objectionable, for it often becomes visible 
in the sky or other parts of the finished drawing ; it might be placed with 
advantage in the extreme comer. Since the first edition of this work, 
Messrs. Whatman have manufactured paper of imperial and double ele- 
phant sizes without these defects ; they have also lately made a magnificent 
antiquarian paper, guaranteed by the signature of Messrs. Winsor and 
Newton, as perfectly pure. We have reason to believe that the be^t white 
drawing-papers made by them are as little likely to change as any that can 
be manufactured. 

The usual panelled or clamped drawing-board is generally adopted for 
large drawings (these should be made by a careful carpenter, with well- 
seasoned wood and without knots) ; and the well-known mahogany stretch- 
ing-board is used for smaller studies. But whatever kind be used, the paper 
must be well stretched and flat If it is a large and important work, it shoidd 
be kept on the board, and be carefully guarded still further from the noxious 
vapour of gas or bad air, which might penetrate even through fissures, and 
alter the tones, or deposit dust To avoid this, the whole back of the 
board should be carefully covered with thick impervious tin-foil, or a thin 
sheet of metal, which should be cemented with a proper cement on to the 
glass, thus effectually excluding the air. The drawing should not touch the 
glass. To stretch paper weU, it should be placed, with the right side up- 
wards, over another sheet of paper upon a table ; it should then be wetted 
with a clean sponge and soft water ; and when well soaked, it shoidd be 
turned, and the operation repeated on the other sida After some time the 
extra moisture shoidd be removed with a clean cloth, and the board, mea- 
suring about two inches less each way, laid on. A square piece being cut 
out of each comer of the paper, the edges should be carefully glued, turned 
over, and mbbed down. Common glue is the best cement for the purpose, 
as with it the paper can be more firmly fixed and tensely stretched than by 
the use of any other materiid. The old method of pjisting paper on boards 
is exceedingly dangerous to the colours, as they are apt to be altered by the 
changes in the paste. 


There are solid sketch-books, consisting of a number of sheets of paper 
compressed together, and glued at the edges. They save much trouble 
in straining ; and by passing a knife beneath the sketch it may be easily 
removed when completed ; but they do not permit much washing and drying, 
as the edges are easily loosened by water. 

When large landscapes are painted, it is sometimes desirable to have 
considerable diflference between the texture of the sky and that of the fore- 
ground. To obtain this end, a sheet of moderately fine antiquarian paper is 
selected, and the subject slightly sketched on it ; after which the foreground 
and middle portion are covered by a sheet of Whatman's coarse paper, 
called rough double elephant. An outline of some of the most prominent 
forms is then to be made ; taking care to select those which, crossing the 
subject, present as much irregularity as possible, and are under shadow. 
The rough paper must be cut with a sharp penknife by this line, and the 
under edge scraped thin. Both the sheets having been equally wetted, the 
under side of the rough paper must be carefully covered with thick starch 
(particular care being taken in applying the starch well on the outline or 
cut edge), and then placed on the large smooth paper and rubbed down. 
The compound sheets may now be carefully glued and stretched on the 
board. The jimction of these two qualities of paper should not be allowed 
to take place in the extreme distance, nor against the sky. 


Paper of various tints and shades has of late years been much employed 
by artists, both in sketching from nature and in pursuing preliminaiy studies 
in chalk of the various effects, particularly those of light and shade, pre- 
sented in the landscape ; these, before commencing the picture, they find 
it advantageous to make in a broad and simple memner. The advantage 
of an intermediate tone on the surface of the paper consists in the fact 
that, as every degree of light and shade, either above or below the tint 
of the ground, is intentionally added, so every touch of Chinese white, sig- 
nifying light, must be laid on with a view to enhance the general effect ; 
and thus no patches of light can be left scattered about in a careless un- 
meaning manner. In this way these papers afford great facilities for the 


truthful arrangement of masses of light and shade, on which account they 
are particularly useful when sketching from nature, with the view of 
studying the general composition of the picture ; but when colour is the 
object of study, pure white paper supplies the best surface for the purpose : 
for if the paper inclines to any particular hue, every wash of colour laid on 
it loses its distinctive character. 

There is an abundant choice of tinted papers, from the coldest blue to 
the warmest orange ; but rejecting positive colours, such eis blue, yellow, or 
reddish browns, let the student select the more pleasing tints presented 
either by some of the neutral hues, or tertiary compounds, such as light 
russets, and delicate aerial grays, inclining to purple rather than green 
(which quality of tone is decidedly prejudicial in the skies), or by the 
warmer tints produced with various proportions of yellow ochre and brown 
madder. The particular tint or shade employed should be selected with 
refei'ence to the auxiliary power it may give the sketch in conveying the 
impression, either of warmth or coolness, produced on the eye by the 
natural scene ; this impression being best assisted by a bold and rapid 
touch. Studies of this kind are generally made with materials the most ^ 
easily manipulated, and sketches thus taken remain unaltered as remi- 
niscences of the truth of nature, standards with which to compare 
combinations of form, light and shade, and colour, as progress is made 
towards one harmonious whole in the finished picture. In these sketches 
the end is not attained by covering the whole surface of the paper, either 
with the white pigment or the black chalk, but only by using them respec- 
tively to represent the stronger lights and shadows, leaving much of the 
paper between these two extremes imtouched ; for as the larger portion of 
every subject consists of middle tint, that of the paper gives an appearance 
of solidity and reality to the slightest sketch. Before commencing his 
study, the student should ascertain the direction of the light, and, the 
portion of the sky surrounding the sun being, of course, the lightest, he 
should pay particular attention to the position of that luminary. As a 
general rule, it will be found that aU parts of the sky and clouds are lighter 
in tone than objects on the earth, as mountains, trees, rocks, &c. ; the local 
or natural colour of buildings or parts of figures, however, being contrasted 



with the darker objects sun'ounding them, must be represented even 
lighter than the lights of the sky. The subject once sketched in, a general 
tint of white with cobalt and crimson lake may be given with rather a 
drier brush than is used in laying on a wash of transparent water-colours ; 
the addition of white allowing the brush to be passed to and fro in any 
direction, renders it comparatively easy to lay this tint perfectly even. It is 
important to observe that, although this tint in any quantity appears nearly 
opaque, yet it must be laid on so lightly as to become semi-transparent, 
permitting the colour of the paper to appear through it, and thus influencing 
the general tone, producing an effect similar to that of scumbling in oil- 
painting ; applying it too thickly destroys the appearance of atmosphere and 
causes it to lose its transparency : this first tint applied, others composed of 
warmer colours and white may follow, imtil at last the highest lights are 
put on thick and opaque. Body colour is an important element in this 
style of drawing, as it increases the appearance of light, while, on the con- 
trary, repeated washes of transparent colour darken the tone. Trees and 
other objects, the local or natural colour of which is dark, should not have 
this lighter tint added, but the portion of the paper occupied by their forms 
should be slightly sketched out, and then left xmtouched; however, as 
objects in nature are seldom equally relieved in all parts of their outline, 
these light tints should not be placed with equal force all round the lines 
delineating such objects, as this would give them the unnatural appearance 
of being cut out The general effect being gained, the sky surrounding the 
objects crossing it should be left undefined, unless it be desirable to make 
one more conspicuous than the others, when the strongest Kght may be 
brought into contrast with this object, A very agreeable effect is sometimes 
given by showing light clouds behind the stems or branches of trees ; but 
this must not be often repeated ; as if so, it becomes unnatural and tricky. 
Chinese white in a pure state is rarely used even on the brightest object ; 
to give it a sunlight appearance a little warm colour should be added. Raw 
Sienna, having a rich sunny character, is very suitable for this purpose. 
The mode of adding the lights in the foregroimd can be slightly varied by 
using the pigment rather drier and more opaque, and by dragging the brush, 
charged with it, over the surface, so as to leave it unequal ; thus increasing 

I ' ^ 



the effect of roughness and variety in the texture. Lights on those parts of 
old stone buildings, rocks, &c., which have the sunlight strong upon them, 
or come against the edge or shadow, may be painted with fulness and 
decision, and afterwards softened by the process of dragging the brush side- 
ways, or partly removed with a sharp knife. The more delicate forms of 
clouds or tones in the sky may, in like manner, be softened or subdued by 
rubbing bread. When only a slight modification of the tint of the papei 
is required, and a little increase of tone not objectionable, a wash of 
some warm colour without the white iuay be passed over the part to be 
altered ; but this shoiQd be done with caution, so that its influence may 
scarcely be perceived. 

Used in the way above indicated, tinted papers are of great service 
to the artist, who, however, while having recourse to them, must be carefiil 
to guard against the abuse of colours in this form of practice. As a general 
rule, white (however well tempered or modified) should be applied with 
moderation, and never on any part of an object in shadow ; even though 
that object may be white and subject to strong reflection, it must be strictly 
reserved for objects light in colour when illuminated by the sun. It may be 
well to mention, that if the student uses the brush and colours he should 
select tinted paper that is well sized, the grain or surface not being in this 
case so important ; but if he uses chalk, he should choose paper which is 
not only sized, but smooth, thick, and equal in texture; such are to be 
found without being hot-pressed. If harsh rough-graiaed paper is chosen, 
it will be found, when used in the sun, much too coarse, although, by 
the side of falling water, or in the damp of the evening, it becomes softer. 
Some tints have a tendency to change their colour by time or exposure to 
gases, and this may be detected by referring to one of the small books of 
patterns which has been exposed to these influences. Chalk drawings made 
with these materials can be readily fixed by passing them through a weak 
solution of gum arable and hot water, in the proportion of about half an 
ounce to a pint ; they are afterwards hung up to dry, and the lower end 
touched with a soft cloth to take off the superfluous water. For an exsimple 
of this style of drawing the student is referred to Plate V., a slight sketch 
made in the north of Arran, near Loch Banza. Those who may happen to 

F 2 


see two copies of this edition will perceive that, for the sake of variety, it 
has been treated in two different ways, — ^morning and evening ; in one, the 
brightest and most attractive light has been placed on the stones of the old 
bridge in the foreground, and this is made still more interesting by a group 
of figures ; in the other, a single figure, as before, stands upon the bridge, 
which is now in shadow from some passing cloud. This shadow may be 
indicated by a hasty wash of colour harmonising with the tint of the 
paper, not attracting attention as colour, but merely bringing the effect to a 
focus by increase of strength ; in this case only a few strokes or touches 
with the chalk are added to prevent it looking cold or vapid. In the first, 
the group has been somewhat increased in interest, so that the view might, 
if desirable, have been called by a different title, such as would direct the 
attention more to the immediate foreground — ^thus, " The long wished-for 
arrival" The reader will understand this much better by recollecting some 
picture of Collins, or Hooks, in which the chief interest is placed on the 
group in the foreground, but intimately connected with the distance, either 
by the position or action of the figures. 

Should the student not find any tinted papers to suit his taste, we 
recommend him to make them for himself, using good white paper well 
stretched. This is good practice in laying large flat washes ; and to do it 
well, the paper must be damped either at the back or on the face, and while 
still damp the wash may be floated on with a large brusk The tone may 
be slightly gradated in strength, from the sky to the foreground, or from 
one side to the other, to suit the subject, but it is as well not to attempt 
much alteration in colour. On tints thus prepared one can readily take out 
lights, either sharp and decided, with the scraper or knife, or by the usual 
process of wetting and rubbing out. 

Notwithstanding the great advantages that this style of drawing affords 
for the purpose of rapid sketching, and the study of light and shade, the 
student in colour is strongly recommended to make all his studies irom 
nature, and the copies of plates and diagrams from this work on pure white 
paper ; for it has been observed that those who continually use the pencil or 
chalk and tinted papers are in great danger of having their eye vitiated by 
the conventional colour of the paper ; even a slight monotonous warm tone 


is, in the author's opinion, exceedingly prejudicial to a true appreciation of 
the different delicate and continually gradating tones we find in nature. 
We are all far too easily satisfied with an artificially coloured medium, and 
soon learn to look upon tints inclosed by an outline as natiural colours, 
whereas they can be but approximations to the general tone, and are 
frequently quite unlike the local colour of many of the objects. If this 
style is carried on too long, the judgment, and even the perception, of the 
student become warped, and his future studies in true colouring made more 
difficult. If one faculty is over-cidtivated, it is often at the expense of 
others ; and thoughts and ideas being conveyed with more facility by that 
means, we naturally fly to it on every occasion. Thus, if a pupil is kept 
too long to outline or form, he perceives it at the expense of light and shade 
and colour. Again, there are well-known instances in which artists are 
such devoted admirers of colour, that form and chiaroscuro are totally 
wanting in their works, and wherever we see them we have only to admire 
the exquisite refinement of some portion of colour, — a beautiful warm gray 
in clouds, indicative of rain, — a rich and mellow green,— or a combination 
of colour of extrewrdinary beauty, but exceedingly artificial, and therefore 
very fatiguiug to the eye when often repeated. Let each power be trained 
in due order ; the perception and imitation of form first, then light and 
shade, and lastly colour, the chief subject of this work ; and our student, 
being supposed to have already passed through the first studies, the brief 
notes on these papers, with composition, light and shade, &c., are only 
introduced to remind him of their importance ; but we advise him now to 
give his principal attention to the study of nature with the brush and 
colour on white paper. 

Before concluding these notes on tinted papers, it must be remarked 
that glazed boards with printed graduated tints of bright blue for the sky, 
passing into red or yellow for the foreground, and on which the lights must 
be scraped out, are in bad taste, producing effects unlike any in nature. 
Those attempting the appearance of a sunset, even supposing the colours 
well arranged and true, are only adapted to represent one particular effect 
and one description of view, as of a level country, or a barren sandy 
common ; a sea-shore is quite out of the question, for the sea is neither 


yellow nor red. Again, when a tree or a building rises into the sky, it is 
necessary to alter the tone in that part (a most difficult operation by 
scraping), or the object would be blue. These preparations of glaring and 
false colours attract only the uneducated, and drawings made on their 
manufactured skies and bright coloured foregrounds may, with respect to 
art, be classed with embossed coloured representations of animals and fruit, 
or with papier-mach^ tearboards, having pieces of mother-of-pearl inserted 
to represent the lights of the landscapa The use of all such adventitious 
aids is not merely a waste of time, it is a complete barrier to the advance of 
truth of colouring. Under this impression, the author considers it his duty, 
as one engaged in the art-education of youth, to condemn the practice in the 
strongest terms. 


Fine brown sable brushes of the round form are best for general use ; 
they should always be regular or domed in their shape, and in all the best 
sable brushes this regularity is produced by placing the hair with the 
greatest care, and not by grinding the point ; they should not be so long 
and flat at the sides as to be weak, but with the hair so arranged that they 
return to a fair point even without water. In choosing brushes most 
' artists try the strength, spring, or resistance of the hair, and observe 
whether it is irregular in the curve while dry ; afterwards, with water, some 
hair, such as the red sable, has much more resistance in it, but does not 
allow so much facility in working ; this kind comes between the brown 
sable and the hog-hair, so much used in oil These are more useftd in 
dragging or making separated touches than in laying on washes. All 
brushes, whether round or flat, should return to their original shape after 
every touch or wash. Care should be taken not to leave them in water, or 
allo:w them to dry charged with colour or white. A small strong India- 
rubber ring is useful to hoLd two or more together, that their points, being 
turned in, may not be injured when shaken against the end of the chalk- 
box One or two of these rounded forms are sufficient for the young artists 
first practice; but they shoiild be large, as, by using a large brush, he 
acquires freedom of hand. When he can thoroughly command this kind. 


and he desires greater variety of touch or texture, he will find brushes of 
all shapes and length of hair at the artists* colourmen. Some are made flat, 
and with the hair arranged so £ts to separate easily into hairy strokes or 
touches supposed to represent the leaves of trees or grass. For this purpose, 
as well as rubbing in the first tints of trees or the tints of firm studies, the 
usual hog-hair brush is useful ; for if a gummy vehicle is used, it allows the 
colour to be spread with more regularity. A flat camel-hair brush, about an 
inch and a half wide, is necessary for the skies and first tints in large 
works ; a round camel-hair brush is also used for the same purpose ; these 
holding a plentiful supply of colour, facilitate the laying on of broad tints 
evenly. They fire also useful in softening those tints which are too heavy. 

Brushes should not be put into the mouth to point them, but if necessary 
they may be drawn on a soft cloth to discharge the superabundant moisture, 
and they may thus be formed into the desired shape. 

For those who wish for less expensive brushes, the Siberian, or dyed hair, 
are found to have most of the necessary qualifications. Aa sable brushes 
are costly, and are soon worn out, the young artist may economise them 
by care ; using, for instance, a broad camel-hair brush to lay on the first 
washes, for in covering large surfaces of rough paper the delicate brush is 
much worn and driven out of shape. An old sable, the point of which may 
be too much worn for precise touches, ought to be used for washing over 
skies or broad tints, or when the brush is worked upwards and into the 
grain of the paper to get rid of inequalities. Above all, the sable brush 
used for pure water-colour drawing with transparent pigments, should never 
be filled with opaque white for drawing on tinted or other papers. 

Although we are desirous to mention all the appliances that ingenious 
workmen present to the followers of dexterous execution, we may caution 
the young student in placing too much reliance on any of his materials for 
the chief beauty of his works ; let him try, of course, to gain a mastery over 
his instruments, and ascertain those that aid him best to express his ideas, 
but he must not allow his attention to be too much engrossed with these 
minor points, for he may be in danger of becoming a mere mannerist, with- 
dout any of the higher thoughts of an artist about him. It woiild not be 
difficult, but might be invidious, to poi|^ out works in our galleries where 


the artists are indebted for their chief attraction to a peculiar paper, either 
in texture or tint ; others are fascinated by extraordinary brushes, producing 
a wiry, hairy, or mossy touch ; while some, running to the other extreme, 
dab on great masses of colour with a large round brusL He will do well, 
therefore, after learning to express his ideas with facility, to avoid using any 
material or instrument that is likely to lead him away from the simplicity 
united to variety that he finds in nature. 


Before we conclude this chapter on the materials employed by the water- 
colour painter, we must add a few words on the use of the vehicles or me- 
diums by which pigments are conveyed to the paper. While water-colours 
were used merely for the purpose of washing in a hasty effect or taking a 
memorandum of the colours seen in nature, it would matter little what 
pigments or vehicles were employed. The backs of letters, brushes made of 
the commonest hair, and water from the next source, were quite sufl&cient 
for these hasty memoranda ; but now that painting, done in this mode, 
occupies the whole attention and talents of some of our greatest artists, we 
must scrupiilously examine every material that they employ, that we may 
adopt at once, from the beginning of our studies, the safest and most eligible 
means to convey our ideas, and secure the durability of our labour. It is 
notorious to all that the vehicles and mediums employed in oil-painting are 
the source of greater changes in the colours and eflfects than even the pig- 
ments themselves ; therefore in such comparatively simple compounds as 
the water-colour painter uses we should hardly have expected any observa- 
tions necessary ; but as the mode of operation is enlarged, and every endea- 
vour used to assimilate it in power to oil-painting, we ought to see that we 
employ perfectly safe materials. Vehicle, a term borrowed from pharmacy, 
signifies that material which is employed in paintingto distribute, to combine, 
and secure the colours forming the representation of nature. There is no 
doubt that the colours of pigments are greatly aflfected by the substances 
that are held in solution by the vehicles we employ ; and even water, the 
simplest of aU these, should be puye ; it should be distilled or rain-water. 



Field says, " In all hard and impure watei's, colours are disposed to separate 
and curdle, so that it is often impossible a clear flowing wash, or gradation 
of colour, should be obtained with them. Solution of guyis, ox-gall, &c. 
correct, without entirely overcoming, these defects of the water ; but they 
are often inconvenient, if not injurious." Of all the gums, Senegal is the 
strongest. Tragacanth appears, from its gelatinous texture, to preserve the 
touch of the pencil, and prevent the flowing of some colours ; but gum 
arable is the best adapted for general use with water-colours, as it does not 
degrade the more delicate pigments, and yet bears out the colours well ; it 
should be picked, dissolved in cold water, and strained ; and either used 
fresh, or preserved by the addition of a smaU portion of carbonate of am- 
monia, which should be incorporated with it — one scruple of the powdered 
carbonate to an ounce of the gum, dissolved by maceration in two or three 
ounces of cold water. Isinglass mixed with gum is also much used in 
water-colour painting ; it is thick, and looks like the megilp used in oil- 
painting. There is also another vehicle for enhancing and strengthening 
colours ; it is a solution of borax in water and gum tragacantL This, Mr. 
Hammon Jones (who has received from the Society of Arts a medal for the 
discovery) found dried sufficiently firm to allow tints to be repeatedly laid 
one over another without moving or washing up. We must add, borax is, 
however, said to affect vegetable colours. 

White of egg is also employed to mix with colours ; it causes them 
to blend more agreeably and evenly on the paper, and adds to the 
brilliancy of their appearance ; the pigments also retain their moisture 
longer, and allow of the longer working. It is very important to have a 
vehicle that permits of a variety of handling, and taking out before it dries 
or hardens, but the young student must use all such vehicles with caution 
and sparingly, otherwise they- may crack and peel off. In this semi-firm 
state many forms may be scratched out with a knife or the end of a pencil- 
stick, and thus a variety given to the touch, preventing it from looking so 
mechanical. The yolk of eggs is also used as a stopping-out liquid : the 
lights that are to be left are stopped out with this previous to laying on 
the flat washes to blots of colour. When these touches are well dried, the 
colour is blotted on, and does not disturb them. The lights fire regained 


by rubbiug with bread or India-rubber ; it irf most used for foKage and the 
sharp lights in the foreground. • 

Should the colours or washes not be evenly laid on, or attach themselves 
to, the paper, a little gall may be dissolved in the water : a small piece about 
the size of a pea, dropped in the glass of water, or a few drops of the solu- 
tion, wUl be sufScient The young amateur should be warned not to use 
honey or sugar with his cake colours to make them moist, both attracting 
flies or other insects, and also damp. It is better to use the pigments in 
as pure a state as possible, either in powder ground into a little gum arabic, 
in cake, or moist, prepared by the best manufacturer : perhaps a little gU- 
cerine is as simple as anything to add to the pigments to keep them moist. 
In conclusion, let us keep in mind that the purer the pigments can be laid 
on the paper, the better, with just so much vehicle that they will attach 
themselves well, but not so much that they will crack or peel oflF : in gene- 
ral, it will be found that all the light and delicate washes and tints will 
want nothing more than the gum they are manufactured with. In the 
darker tints or glazings we may use with discretion the other vehicles that 
are mentioned, keeping in mind that gums generally do not facilitate the 
spreading of colour, but should rather be reserved for enhancing the rich 
deep tones of the foreground. 




in imitating nature, must "be of the fiist importance. Consequently, 
before he approaches the more attractive and ornamental art of coloming, 
these principles, and the rules deduced from them, which are the only sure 
, foundation of future progress, must be firmly impressed upon his mind 
' Any attempt to please by a picture which, though possessing the most har- 
moniouB arrangement of charming tints, is defective in regard to the choice 
of objects, in lines misplaced, or &ulty in perspective, would be utterly vain 
and fruitless. Errors like these would undoubtedly oflfend both the eye and 
taste of an intelligent observer ; and that too in such a d^p-ee that any 
praise he might bestow upon the beauty of the colouring, would be accom- 
panied by the regret that powers, capable of so much in one branch of the 


art, should yet be so deficient in those on which all truthful representation 

Colour, the author is compelled to acknowledge, even in a work devoted 
like the present to its especial consideration, is subordinate to form and 
light and shade ; for, although more attractive, it is, in the representation of 
nature, the least important of the three. 

In studying from nature, the student, in the first instance, would do well 
to consider colour a^s so much light and shade, giving to the diflferent hues 
that portion of shade to which they are equivalent Truthfulness in form 
and light must predominate. This object being eflfected, representations in 
colour may be given with great effect, even in an engraving, in which the tones 
are all neutral Colour, however, adds a most powerful charm to all works 
of landscape art, and greatly assists in elucidating the beauties of nature. 

In a work of this description it is not requisite to enter fully into the 
consideration of composition ; since it may be presumed that those who 
consTilt these pages have already made some advances in the practice of 
drawing, and received that education of the eye, and that training of the 
hand, which are calculated to render students capable of imitating the forms 
presented to their view. For this reason, it wiU suffice to notice only some 
of the most important points connected with the choice of a subject and the 
composition of a picture. 

As in poetry, no poem, however beautifiil its imagery, can be deemed 
perfect without some peculiar thought or sentiment prevailing throughout ; 
so in painting, no picture, how brilliant soever its colouring, wUl excite any 
pleasurable emotion in the mind of the spectator, imless some predominant 
idea, or intention, pervades the whole. 

Composition is the art of arranging the forms or objects that constitute 
a picture. In a higher sense, it may be considered as the study necessary 
in choosing a subject for representation, and deciding the point of view best 
adapted to render it eflfective. In either case, that leading idea and unity of pur- 
pose, so essential both to the poem and the picture, must be stiictly observed. 

In Landscape Painting, the picture may be described as being that por- 
tion of nature visible at one time, and from one spot. Neither the head nor 
the eye should be moved ; any such change giving more than can be taken 


in at one moment, and so presenting a picture of the panoramic class. The 
artist must be content to limit his view of the subject immediately before 
him to a space occupying about 60° of the circle. 

This being understood, the artist may proceed to consider what objects 
within that view are most suitable for representation ; being guided in this 
respect by the rules adapted to aid him in the selection. The choice having 
been made, his next care must be, bearing in mind the former remark, to 
guard against any wandering either of the eye or the thoughts to other 
parts of the landscape. 

While studying perspective, the pupil will have learnt to consider the 
paper, on which he is to trace the outline of the scene before him, as a 
transparent medium between himself and the object. Suppose, instead of a 
transparent medium, he holds up his sketching-folio at a moderate arm's 
length between his eye and the view ; it will hide just so much of the latter 
as his paper will contain. Should he require more of one object than of 
another, he can move the folio in any direction, until it covers all such parts 
as he wishes to include in his picture. When its distance from the eye 
equals its length, the folio will hide nearly as much space as the eye can 
embrace without difficulty. The distance is regulated by the principles of 
perspective ; and, if increased, the height and width of the picture must be 
increased in proportion, or a smaller portion of the landscape wiU be in- 
cluded. It will, however, be shown, ini a future page, that this rule admits 
of exceptions. 

Another point, in the arrangement of a picture, is, that the person look- 
ing at it should be made to feel as if he were placed in the position of the 
artist when sketching the view. To accomplish this, the lines must be 
represented so truthfully, that the objects on the flat surface of the paper 
may appear to be at the same relative distances fix)m the eye at which the 
real objects were seen. This being skilfuUy done, it will at once be evident 
whether the sketch was taken from high or low ground, or whether more of 
the subject was to the right or to the left of the spectator. To assist in 
arriving at this result, the frame of the sketching-folio may be held up in a 
vertical position, so as to form the boimdary-lines on the top, the base, and 
the two sides of the intended pictura In this position the artist will find 


the perpendicular and horizontal lines supplied by the frame extremely 
useful ; as be may, from time to time, compare with them tlie lines of hie 
progressing subject. 

The first studies of composition should be faithful transcripts of the lines, 
as they appear in natura Subjects having simple forms should be selected, 
and from these no deviation should be permitted. A firm and perhaps 
severe style will be the result. By this practice the mind becomes stored 
with images so clear and distinct b& never to be forgotten. 

Should the student, when more advanced, find the position which he has 
chosen deficient in any particular point, he will then have the power to re- 
call forms previously studied, and which may be more suitable to the view 
he is representing ; or be may change his position, until he perceives that 
the arrangement of the lines is agreeable. He should, however, place some 
restraint upon himself, in introducing too great a variety ; as continual 
change, whether it be in outline, light and shade, or colour, produces satiety, 
and fatigues the attention, — simplicity of parts and lines being at all times 
necessary to produce repose. 

After a little practice in composition, the student will become aware that 
lines, receding from the forepart or base line of the picture, assist the peiv 
spective, and induce a true estimation of the distance of the objects ; while 

those parallel to it 
only conduct the 
eye from side to 
side. A position, 
therefore, if possi- 
ble, should be cho- 
sen, so as to avoid 
these parallel lines ; 
for the mind being 
unconsciously in- 
^* *• fluenced by the 

direction of the lines in a picture, a road, a path, or a river, may serve to 
increase the interest, by conducting the eye into space, and directing the 
attention towards the distance, or special points of the subject (Fig. 1.) 


Any position in which the ruts of a road rise perpendicularly from the 
base line, shoiild be changed for one that presents them inclining either to 
the right or the left, — the former creating a difficulty -without any compen- 
sating advantage. 

By thiB selection of station, great alteration may be made in the 
disposition of the quantities or proportions which the different parts of 
the subject bear to each other, In Fig. 1, a few steps to the right would 
have caused the lines in the road to have presented the difficulty pointed 
out above. In another position the summit of the mountain would have 
been placed exactly in the centre of the distant opening. By this careful 
consideration, the lines of either the cliffs or hills may be prevented from 
appearing parallel to each other, or to the side lines of the picture. In 
the same way the termination of promontories may be varied so as not 
to appear exactly under one another, — an error of position to he avoided. 

In Fig. 1, the angular forms of the mountain are contrasted with the 
straight line of the lake ; and the rounded forms of the clouds and woods 
make an agreeable variety with the more severe lines of the rocks. 
In selecting the station, it must be remarked that the least difference of 
position causes a change of form in the nearest parts or foreground ; but to 
produce any alteration- in the shapes of the distant mountains, it will be 
necessary to remove to a considerable distance from the position previously 

An instance of 
the use made of 
lines, in directing the 
attention to the chief 
point of interest, may 
be deduced from the 
celebrated picture of 
the Last Supper, by 
Leonardo Da Vinci, 

where the beams of Fig. 2. 

the ceiling, the boards of the floor, and even the folds of the table-cloth, all 
lead the eye towards the head of the Saviour. 


A balance of the interest does not necessarily mean that equal quantities 
of the subject should be placed on each side of the picture. A great prepon- 
derance may exist on one side, and yet be sufficiently balanced on the other 
by a group of figures, by light and shade, or even by a broad glow of colour, 
as in a brilliant sunset. Other effecta will form a subject for future con- 
sideration. The above are here introduced, in order that the student, while 
arranging the lines of his picture, may bear them in mind in connexion 
with the other important precepts of the art ; not thinking, however, that 
form only can balance form, or colour balance colour. Neither is it essen- 
tial that the principal pointa of interest should be in the centre of the whole 
picture ; for instance, should a group of figures divide the interest with the 
rest of the subject, it may be placed at the side (vide Fig, 3 — A Party of 

Pleasure). The 
figures here 
doubtless form 
the chief point 
of interest ; 
but the dis- 
tant spot to 
■ which they are 
bound . being 
dimly depict- 
ed through the 

Fig. 8. A FABIT OF FUJASUBE-ARBAS. iudiCate the 

disappointment of the party ; while the idea is further assisted by the 
introduction of the dog, evidently dragged unwillingly along, and looking 
back with regret towards the warm chimney-nook he has left behind. 

In all these cases the student must recollect that one attractive element 
may successfully balance another of a different character ; and so, without 
imdue formality, preserve the general harmony of the composition. (Figs, 
2 and 3.) 

The line which has the most infiuence on the direction of all the others 
in the picture is the horizon or horizontal line. This is easily distinguished, 


either when the spectator is standing on the sea-shore, or on a level country ; 
but even when not seen, as in a mountainous view, or close wood, it must 
still be indicated in the drawing by a line parallel to the base, and extend- 
ing from side to side of the picture. This horizontal line varies with the 
position chosen, and should always indicate the height of the eye of the 
painter, or indeed of the eye of any person looking at the picture ; its plewe 
must therefore be determined at the very commencement of a drawing. It 
is generally situated at such a distance from the base-line as equals about 
one-third of the height of the picture ; thus allowing one-third land and 
two-thirds sky; but when the view is taken from the sea-beach, or the 
objects fire intended to be much above the eye, it is better placed at only a 
fourth or fifth of this distance above the basa On the contrary, should the 
view be taken from an eminence, the horizontal line will rise with the 
change, and be nearer the top than the base. Aa the other lines of the 
picture are more pleasing, and the whole more agreeable when there are 
unequal, rather than equal, spaces above and below this- line, it shoiild 
never divide the subject exactly in the middle. For similar reasons, the 
point of sight (always being, as the student is aware^ opposite the eye, on 
the horizontal line) should be placed more or less either to the right or to 
the left of the centre ; as, by thus presenting more of the subject on one 
side than the other, we avoid formality, and advantageously chemge the 
angles of the general lines. 

In regard to distance, only one portion of a landscape is in a proper 
position to be seen distinctly at one time ; for, unconsciously to ourselves, the 
focus is altered every time we look at objects at different distancea This 
change, with its consequences, is most important when occurring in the space 
between the immediate for^ound and the middle distance. Beyond that 
distance, the change, though continually taking place, is less apparent 
However, as all the objects represented in a picture are placed at the same 
actual distance from the eye, we should select such a spot in the natural 
view as we desire to render most attractive in the drawing ; then, assuming 
that particular spot to be our focus, the other parts should be rendered less 
and less apparent by being less finished in proportion as their distance from 
that point increases. In this way, the eye being led to dwell with the 



greatest interest on the most important point, the impression made by the 
whole will, as nearly as possible, resemble that produced by the correspond- 
ing view of nature. The extreme boundaries of all objects become indis- 
tinct when seen at a distance ; angular and square objects losing their 
corners, and taking a round or oval form. In like manner, the angles of 
our squared pictures or views become less distinctly evident ; and by these 
means the eye is in some degree confined to the imaginary oval form con- 
tained within the boundary of the outline. This natural effect the artist 
imitates by arranging the principal objects within an oval space ; at the 
same time aiding the general result by so disposing and modifying the lines 
as not only to keep the eye from wandering out of the picture, but also to 
concentrate the attention on the object intended to represent the chief point 
of interest. At other times he varies the oval form jwjcording to the subject 
he has to portray ; but whatever form he may adopt, simplicity in arranging 
points of interest should be his chief aim, and no doubt or hesitation ought 
to be felt in the mind of the spectator as to which is the principal object of 
the picture. With this view, he will arrange such parts of his subject as 
are at his disposal so as to keep up the interest of the whole. Some parts 
of the picture are so evidently well suited for any object of attraction, that 
they are sometimes called the strong points of a picture, such as the group 
occupies in Fig. 2, p. 79. 

The well-known painting of "Bolton Abbey," by Landseer, offers a 
striking example of the dexterity with which this is sometimes accomplished. 
Here the oval form, without any apparent effort, is so skilfully preserved 
within the squared boundary-lines of the picture, that the eye is, as it were, 
fastened on the principal object. This beautiful effect is attained by the 
artistic arrangement of the accessories, the heads of the figures, the game, 
dogs, and even a censer with smoke rising from it ; in another part, with 
the same view, a little extra finish has been given to the details of a bracket, 
and the whole aided by a gradual increase or diminution of light and shade. 

While considering the position of the principal points of interest, we 
must observe that one object should never be placed over another, when 
that other is of equal size or effect ; as this, by dividing the interest would 
destroy the power of both, and render it difficult, even with the utmost 


atteotiou to aerial perapective, to give a true position to the chief object 
This, however, does not refer to reflectiona of objects in water, which, 
when skilfully used, greatly add to their altitude and beauty ; nor should 
it prevent the artistic distribution of figures or other objects at the 
base of a building or tree ; — these may likewise answer the same purpose. 
Neither should two objects of the sanie size and interest be so placed as to 
appear one on each side of some 
middle object. One must be ren- 
dered subservient to the other; other- 
wise two points of view will be pro- 
duced, dividing the interest, and de- 
teriorating the effect. (Vide Fig. 4.) 
When it is desired to render 
some particular object important, it 
is made to occupy more of the whole 
space of the picture than other ob- 
jects which form parts of it ; or, by 
leaving the rest of the subject less 
defined, it gains in interest by being 
more finished. Thus the portrait- 
painter, if he wishes to give a small Kg. i. 
person the same importance as one of a larger size, makes the canvas 
smaller, and causes the head to rise nearly to the top of it, while the feet 
are placed near the bottom; or some accidental eirouiostance — such as a 
step, a bank, or any higher ground — may be taken advantage of to elevate 
the figure to a more commanding position. When the contraiy effect is 
wished, other objects are made more important ; and of course these results 
are much assisted by a knowledge of the effects of chiaroscuro and the use 
of colour. Importance is ^o given to any object by a repetition of the 
form or colour, but always in a smaller or fainter d^ree. TIius, in the 
retreating columns of a building, the eye and mind are gradually impressed 
with the idea of the largeness of the column in the immediate foreground. 
Again, in an avenue of trees, it greatly increases the apparent altitude to 
see others the same in size as those in the foreground reduced by distance, 


to so small a space ; and the attention, when' recalled to the principal 
object near at hand, is proportionately augmented. Thus clouds that are 
immediately overhead may have additional interest given to them by others 
which may be said to echo their shape and colour ; and in some cases these 
delicate forms of clouds are useful in repeating, and, as it were, carrying 
on the shape of distant mountains or promontories. We may perceive by 
these few notes, that very delicate repetitions impress the eye with £ts much 
power as single forms when presented with greater firmness ; and by 
varjdng our means of producing effect, we greatly enlarge our minds, and 
avoid monotony and mannerism in our works. 

The proportions of pictures may vary with the general forms of the 
objects selected, but they should never be exactly square. The effect of 
height in lofty objects, as a near view of a cathedral-tower or a mountain- 
peak, is often aided by an upright form ; but its height should be evidently 
more than its width. At other times a long shape may be desirable, as for 
delineating the mere summit of a moimtain-range or rocky scene. (See 
example at the head of this section.) 

There is yet another way in which we give, as it were, a glance at some 
single beauty of nature, leaving the rest of the scene to be imagined. 
Fragments so selected, and left unfinished or undefined at their boundaries, 
are called vignettes. Originally they were nothing more than ornamental 
arrangements of a few vine-leaves and flowers at the head of a title-page, or 
at the end of a division of a book ; but, at the present time, any delineation 
left in this indefinite state is so named; and being no longer confined 
to those particular parts of the page, its place is left to the discretion of 
the author. The unassuming style of these compositions, and the great 
latitude they allow in form, has caused them to be much employed in the 
enrichment or illustration of books. When executed in wood, they can, 
without adding materially to the expense, be printed at the same time 
with the letterpress. In this manner — as will be shown in this and other 
sections of the work — any interesting object (as a rustic bridge, or an 
opening through trees showing a distant spire) may be given, and all the 
intricacy and labour of drawing the numerous surroimding objects avoided. 
Some of Bewick's small vignettes are so pointed in character, and so full of 


expression, that they even surpass the more finished plates of his work. 
The vignette style has been adopted for the accompanying little sketch, and 
alBO in the woodcut at p. 33. 

Beferring to the above varieties, 
it is evident that, althoiigh general 
rules have been laid down for the 
guidance of the student in choosing 
the shape beat adapted to the compo- 
sition of landscape-scenes, much lati- 
tude is allowed in this respect; for 
example, a space, the proportions of 
which are three by two, embracing 
within the oval contained in it all the 
principal features, is indicated as the 
form most suited for ordinary use in 
landscape-paintii^ ; but others (as the 
upright or the long horizontal shapes) 
may occasionally be employed, and — 

that too with great advantage. In all "*"■*""■ 

cases, however, it is essential that the artist should in the first instance 
decide upon the proportions he intends to adopt ; and then, aided by the 
rules derived &om experience, proceed to work out his intention. 

The author must be pardoned if in this place he pauses for a moment 
to dwell on the high and varied qualifications necessary to form an 
accomplished artist. The mind, to enable it to direct the eye and guide the 
hand, must be stored with a great diversity of information. In addition 
to all that is peculiar to his own pursuits, the artist, to give his figures 
their true form under every change of posture, must have some knowledge 
of anatomy ; for drapery, however flowing and graceful it may appear, will 
not always avail in conceding inaccurate drawing of the figure or limbs. 
To represent rocks and mountains in their natural position, with their 
proper characteristics (whether their masses are exposed to view in naked 
majesty, or partially hidden beneath a wintiy robe of snow, or the summer 
mantle of vegetetion), the artist must understand something of their 


geological structure and formation. From the science of optics he must 
learn to comprehend the laws aflfecting the light by which he works, which 
illuminates his subject, and by which his pigments are so materially 
aflfected. From a knowledge of chemistry he must acquire the power of 
selecting those substances, both natural and artificial, best suited to his 
purpose in the composition of the pigments requisite to produce his intended 
effects. And finally, to profit by the experience and labours of those who 
in former generations have trodden the path before him, he must seek the 
record of their trials, their failures, and their triimiphs. 

Hence, to excel in the art of painting requires the attainment of many 
collateral branches of knowledge, which demand the exercise of much 
patient industry. This, however, is amply compensated by the power and 
pleasure it bestows, the enviable capacity of faithfuUy imitating nature 
in her loveliest forms, the exquisite deKght of fully appreciating her 
ever-varying beauties, — enjoyment far, very far, beyond the reach of the 
uneducated mind. Alison, in his Essay on Taste, says, "The beauty of any 
scene in nature is seldom so striking to others as it is to a landscape- 
painter." Following his train of thought, we may add, that to the painter, 
rendered familiar by his profession with the difficulties both of invention 
and execution, the profusion with which nature often scatters her most 
picturesque beauties appears little less than miraculous. Every minute 
circumstance of form and perspective, of light and shade, passing tmheeded 
by the vulgar gaze, assumes in his eyes an importance commensurate with 
the difficulty it involves. These ideas of difficulty, and the power of over- 
coming it, being commingled in his mind, produce an emotion incomparably 
more intense than any that can possibly be derived by the generality of 
mankind from the same source. 


— a tenn introduced into out IsBgnage as a translatioii of the Italian word 
chiaroscuro (clear-ohscure) — being now universally adopted by all artists, 
amateurs, and -writers, it is necessary to give the student, in as simple a 
manner as possible, an explanation of its meaning. This term is veiy com- 
prehensive ; for it not only includes the simple and natural light and shade 
belongi)^ to every object when illuminated by the aun, with the shadows 
projected from it, but likewise the arrangement of the various masses of 
lights and shadows, whether belonging to the different bodies represented 
in the picture, or to others which, though not visible, are supposed by their 
intervention to influence its general effect. It should be well understood 
that objects with merely the light and shade appertaining to them, taken 
singly, will not form pictures. In order to possess any pictorial effect, they 
must be accompanied either by other forms or by accidental lights and 
shades. Now, as in art a selection is made from nature, according to the 
d€^ree of taste and ability possessed 1^ the artist, it is of the first import- 
ance that he should early attain Uie power of examining natural scenes. 


with a view of representing those lights and shades calculated to express the 
sentiment he wishes to convey; and as, in his previous attempts in the 
choice or arrangement of lines or forms, he has doubtless found the advan- 
tage of adopting some well-digested system of study embracing the experi- 
ence of ages, so, in the further prosecution of his labours, will he find that 
a like system, tending to direct him in a judicious selection of the lights 
and shades of nature wiU greatly facilitate the acquisition of a just know- 
ledge of pictorial effect. The student is not to imagine that, in a treatise 
intended to assist him in the use of colour, it is unnecessary to enter into 
the study of light and shade; on the contrary — ^as we have stated in 
Section L, " On Composition" — the effort necessary to overcome these diffi- 
culties in their relative order will greatly conduce to his ultimate success ; 
for though the study of outline or form cannot be easily separated fix)m 
that of light and shade, — the former being scarcely intelligible to the eye 
without the aid of the latter, — ^yet the attainment of these two divisions of 
the art is essential before resorting to colour. In proof of which, we have 
only to examine the exquisite productions of recent photographers ; in these 
we see what perfect representations of nature, in eveiy thing but colour, are 
the result of tints and shades devoid of that great charm. It must, how- 
ever, be confessed that, even in the most perfect of these philosophical 
productions, a certain amount of pictorial effect is wanting, and a deficiency 
is felt of that concentration of interest caused by a more artistic application 
of the rules of chiaroscuro. The great use o{ photography to the artist is 
to supply accurate copies of portions of nature, or faithful transcripts of 
those effects which he has in the first instance studied fix)m nature ; in this 
way, it may be made to assist him by securing for his use the most correct 
representations of form and light and shade, while it is indebted to him for 
the more enlarged arrangement of lights and shadows known by the com- 
prehensive appellation of chiaroscuro. 

As an additional inducement to the student to defer the practice of 
colour until he has mastered the difficulties of light and shade, it may be 
remarked, that for many years Turner rarely used any positive colour in his 
paintings, trusting entirely to neutral tints for his representation of the 
glorious effects of nature. A still more convincing proof of the advantages 


of such an order of procedure may be found in the fact, that, as the sun 
declines, the colour of all objects is obscured, and light and shjide alone are 
visibla Thus, the groundwork being laid, and the true principle of 
chiaroscuro once thoroughly understood, colour may be employed with 
great ease and rapidity. 

Light, whether emitted fipom a luminous body or reflected with dimin- 
ished force from the various opaque bodies around us, is the sole agent in 
producing impressions on the mind through the organ of sight. Its effect 
being almost instantaneous, the light portions of objects should, in axt as in 
nature, first attract the attention ; after these, perhaps, the extreme darks 
or cast shadows ; then the large masses of half-lights and half-darks ; and, 
when the eye finds leisure to pass from these, it will penetrate the parts in 
shade : consequently the form and distribution of the masses of light are 
of primary importance. 

The lights and shadows of Nature are continually varying in position, 
intensity, and opposition ; thus affording, by their endless play, that relief 
to the eye the want of which would be felt in a monotonous tone. Again, 
there is an evident tendency in nature towards one focus or spot of bright 
light, and one portion of shadow or concentrated dark ; and when in art 
these are in opposition, a greater and more brilliant effect is the result ; so 
that, without the aid of colour, by a due arrangement of these alternations 
and proportions ample breadth may be obtained without fiatness or mono- 
tony ; and the eye, thus attracted, will in one part be excited, in another 
lulled to repose : the whole attention being rivetted on the result, a highly 
pleasing pictorial effect will probably be produced. The breadth here 
alluded to is extremely difficult to attain ; and Sir Joshua Beynolds 
observes, that *'an inferior artist, being unwilling that any part of his 
industry should be lost upon the spectator, takes as much pains to discover, 
as the greater artist does to conceal, the marks of his subordinate assiduity." 

In the study of light and shade in its relation to landscape-painting, we 
should first notice what kind of light illumines the whole scene, whether 
it is general or particular ; because much of the character of the subject 
depends on the truth with which this is expressed. When the sun is con- 
cealed by clouds, there will be no very distinct lights and shadows on the 


objects ; on the contrary, when the sun is either unclouded, or only now 
and then obscured, these lights and shadows will be present in great variety. 
This variety will be greater when the sun is on one side and near the 
horizon, in the morning or evening, than when vertical at noon. The sun 
being low, the shadows will be prolonged ; and, by passing from one object 
to another, so connect them as to form pictorial efiects. 

When the outline alone is to be studied, the first effort is to see it 
distinct from every other quality; that is, from lights shade, or colour. 
With this intention, the student should select a simple form, such as a 
vase, and cut it out as a silhouette or plane, in cardboard or some other 
substance ; by relieving this with another of a different colour or degree 
of light, the eye embraces the whole form without difficulty. If a more 
intricate composition, or a landscape is to be studied, the outline above 
8houl(f be carefully made on white paper, that the size and arrangement of 
the different parts may be distinctly seen. But when light and shade are 
studied, the artist frequently shuts out the mere boundary line of the 
objects, and, at the same time, translates the colours into their relative 
value in light and shade : he ignores them as colour, but accepts them as 
light and shade. Lastly, when colour is to be chiefly considered, allowing 
it to engross his first thoughts, he chooses forms presenting the best oppor- 
tunities for its display : but in so doing, he must still recollect that colour 
is subservient to light; and landscape painters in particular, who, viewing 
nature on a large scale, can use few artificial contrivances to modify their 
effects, must endeavour to imite in one picture these three essential qualities 
of a fine work of art. Before entering more fully into the details of this 
subject, I shall quote, in support of this system of procedure, the following 
passage from Sir Joshua Beynolds on general effect : '' There is nothing 
in our art which enforces such continual exertion and circumspection as an 
attention to the general effect of the whole. It requires much study and 
much practice ; it requires the painter^s entire mind ; the artist who flatters 
his own indolence will continually find himself evading this active exertion, 
and applying his thoughts to the ease and laziness of highly finishing the 
parts, producing at last what Cowley cttUs ' laborious effects of idleness.' " 

With the view of simplifying the process whereby this general effect 


may be obtedned, without sacrificing the particular light and shade be- 
longing to e6ich object, it will be necessary for the student to examine 
solid bodies of every shade and description ; in fact, to study nature under 
the various phases presented by different lights and shades, remembering, 
while thus employed, that he has to portray truthfully on a flat surface 
these infinitely varied solids ; a diflSculty only to be overcome by increasing 
the effects produced by reflections, refractions, and atmospheric influences. 
Many striking qualities and beauties of nature wiU doubtless escape him, 
but others he will seize and amplify. His first great effort must be to 
separate the light and shade produced by a brilliant sunshine from the 
natural colour of each object within its influence ; for, as we have proved 
in Chap. L Section III., the richest and deepest colours are as nothing com- 
pared to the effect of the effulgence of this sunlight To impress this fact 
more firmly on the mind, let the student take the earliest opportunity of 
examining those substances the colour of which approaches the nearest to 
light, as white chalk-cliffs or hills covered with snow, from such a point o 
view that they may be between him and the sun. He will then perceive 
that in this situation, notwithstanding the quantity of reflected light stUl 
remaining on them, they will appear almost black. Or, let him when in 
a room look from the window upon a landscape under the most gloomy 
sky, he will at once see that it appears light in comparison with the shade 
of the room. By these experiments he will gain some sound data, and 
become convinced of some important facts, on which to found his practice. 

In addition to the above careful study of natural effects, the diligent 
student will take every opportunity of examining and analysing the works 
of those masters who have best succeeded in their choice or arrangement 
of light and shade. To aid him in these researches, he wiU find Sir Joshua 
Eeynolds' practice of copying, on a small scale, merely the light and shade 
of a picture, without r^ard to form or colour, and thus arriving at the 
proportions that they bear to each other, well worthy his attention. This 
practice is sanctioned by the most successful of our modem artists, and, 
even when studying from nature, should immediately follow the attainment 
of the composition or outline ; and although this system has not met with 
the approbation of some writers on the theory of art, yet it must be evident 


that, as even under the most fortunate circumstances subjects are not 
found complete in all their various parts, there is an urgent necessity for 
lodes to guide the student in the choice and disposition of his light and 
shade ; for, however perfect a landscape may be in the arrangement of the 
lines or forms, still it may fail in the chiaroscuro or in colour, and thus 
prove that there was ample room for further thought. 

The reader must bear in mind that these remarks apply chiefly to 
landscape-painting ; for in historical painting the artist has a much greater 
scope for selection and skill in the arrangement of the materials composing 
his picture. Subjects taken from history have but a small spaxje of open 
sky or air ; the incidents selected having most of them taken place within- 
doors, axe generally made to occupy nearly the whole of the canvas. More- 
over, owing to the dark colours necessary for the costumes of the figures 
introduced, there is but Kttle reflected light in historical paintings com- 
pared with that of landscape subjects. The placing of the figures and the 
admission of Kght are also very much at the discretion of the painter. 
Costumes and other accessories afford opportunities for the display of 
taste ; but their colours, from their close proximity, offer less real power 
in representing the difference between the degrees of light and shade, and 
their trtositions in chiaroscuro are made in a less decided manner. Again 
in adding the local colour to objects, those of a dark colour may always 
count as shadow, and those of a light colour as light. On the contrary, 
in the broad expanse of nature there must necessarily exist a more brilliant 
and extended degree of light, more reflections, and, in the deep shadows, 
more intense effect. 

Having thus given a concise view of the principles involved in chiar- 
oscuro, it is now the author^s wish to explain and illustrate their prac- 
tice. With this view, he has introduced some diagrams and examples of 
subjects treated in the broad and general manner recommended. When 
the student has made himself master of these ideas, he will doubtless have 
but little difficulty in following them up with many others, which the 
various scenes and circumstances around him will suggest. The first object 
being to secure the just arrangement and proper quantities of light and 
shade, half-lights, and shadows of various strengths, the student should 


avail himself of auch materials aa he can handle with the greatest fecility, 
and confine Ms attempts to a few objects in the immediate foregrmmd. It 
paper of neutral tint be employed, either white chalk or Chinese white may 
be used in addition to the black chalk. Should the brush be preferred, 
sepia and white, with the addition of a little blue, will be found adequate 
to the purpose ; and, by passing these materials one into the other, or one 
over the other, a middle tint will be gained either with the brush or the 
stump. By this mode of rubbing-in the effect within a small space, all the 
fascinating qualities of touch or outline are passed by, and, no time being 
wasted in aiming at delicate execution, the danger of losing the effect, aa 
well as the sentiment to be conveyed, is avoided. In practice, it will be 
necessary ,to study chiaroscuro in two parte : first, the simple and natural 
light and shade appertaining to every opaque body when seen by a strong 
light ; then, the general arrangement of all the lights and darks, whether 
they are the result of variations in the accidental light and shade, or of 
the stronger colours of objects represented in black and white. The former 
will be readily understood by looking at a simple form lighted up by the 

sun or some strong concentrated l^ht, and observing how clear and distinct 
this separation is ; the parts not opposed to the Hght are in shade, but 


if another body come between the object and the illuminating power, the 
part deprived of light will then be in shadow. Shadows projected from 
objects in the light are called cast shadows : an important diflference, and 
one which should be clearly impressed on the mind of the student. Shadows 
are darker than shades ; for the latter receive reflected light, varying in 
power and quality, whUe the former are not in a position to be thus 
aflPected. But whUe definite in this quality, they vary in their outline, 
and assume forms depending on those of the objects which intercept the 
light and the form of the surface on which they are cast: they are, of 
course, not visible in a surface already in shada (Vide Fig. 1.) 

When the eye has obtained the power of defining these two varieties 
of shade or darkness, it will then be requisite to observe, that besides 
these, there is in every soKd object, or collection of solid objects, whether 
forming an in-door or out-door view, a large portion which, being neither 
light nor dark, is composed of middle tint, itself subject to be again divided 
into half-lights and half-darks. If the light be very decided and general, 
the darks will be small in quantity, but brilliant and effective ; on the 
contrary, if the darks and darker half-tints predominate, the lights, as in 
many of Eembrandt's pictures, will be of great value. 

In order to train the eye to observe these differences of tone, the 
student should first practise drawing strokes of equal strength and distance 
from each other, as in Figures 2 and 3. These, when regular, have the 
effect of a transparent tint or shade ; and, whether made with dark or 
light strokes, allow the eye to penetrate between them ; and thus imitate, 
in some degree, the permeability of shade. Now, as the eye has the power 
of penetrating shade or shadow, it follows that the darks representing 
them should not by any means look solid or opaque, like the lights. 
Fig. 4 is intended to show the effect of a graduated tint increasing and 
diminishing, or a succession of even tints, of different degrees of intensity, 
placed side by side. When bands of flat tints are placed in opposition to 
others of different power, either Kghter or darker, they appear darker or 
lighter by contrast ; and this to such an extent, that in an instance where 
the shadow of a projecting board was thrown of six different degrees of 
strength, from six burners placed on a wall, the whole had the appearance 


of a Anted column, and it was only by casting an additional shadow over 
them all that the smface was proved to be flat. When h^inning with 

Fig. * Rg. 6. 

a faint tint, they increase gradually to an 
extreme depth, and then decrease again, 
great variety of tone is obtained, remind- 
ing us of the increase and diminution of 

FigB. 2 and 3, , 


By taking as a groimd for these tints some middle tint of a neutral 

tone, and merely indicating thereon the extremes of dark and light, and 

graduating these a short distance, we can leave a great portion of the 

middle tint of the paper untouched, when it will represent the half-lights 

and half-darks so prevalent throughout nature, (Vide Kg. 5.) The student, 

at the commencement of his course, wUl find the practice of these tints, 

with their various modifications, of great importance, since by their aid, 

before the hand has been much practised in drawing, a vigorous, skilfid, 

and rapid execution can be easily acquired ; whereas, should a careless, 

slovenly execution be indulged in, its amendment will ever afterwards 

be extremely difficult. If, on our first efforts in writing, the hand 

requires an efficient training, how much must the value of such training 

he enhanced when we make our first essays in the more difficult art of 

drawing ! In short, in this, as in all other arts, it is highly essential that 

the first advance should be made in the right direction ; for a moment's 


reflection will convince the student how irksome would be the task, when, 
1:^ a long and deeultoiy observance of nature and art, his taste had become 
fastidious (his ability to imitate remaining uncultivated), to retrace hia 
steps, and recommence with attempts at acquiring these elementary powers. 
In art, the means producing the effect should not only be unobtrusive in 
the finished work, but so easy in their application as to leave the mind 
untrammeled when employed on the higher qualities of the picture ; and 
Sir J. Eeynolds observes, that " a degree of mechanical practice, odd as 
it may seem, must precede theory. The reason is, that if we wait till we 
are partly able to comprehend the theory of art, too much of life will be 
passed to permit us to acquire facility and power ; something, therefore, 
mast be done on trust, by mere imitation of given patterns, befoie the 
theory of art can be fiiU. Thus we shall become acquainted with the 
necessities of the art, and the veiy great want of theory, the sense of which 
want can alone lead us to take pains to acquire it : for what better means 
can we have of knowing to a certainty, and of imprinting strongly on our 
mind, our own deficiencies, than unsuccessful attempts ! Thus theory will 
be best understood by and in practice. If practice advances too far before 
theoiy, her guide, she is likely to lose her way ; and if she keeps too far 
behind, to be discouraged." 

In our study of light and shade, we must bear in mind that, although 
in the first attempts to imi- 
tate form outiines of dif- 
ferent d^iees of strength 
are used, yet they are in 
reality but the boundaries 
of surfaces, as planes are of 
solids ; BO that when the 
lights and shades are imi- 
tated by tints, outline should 
BO longer appear. This is shown in the shaded or light sides of the cube 
and the graduated shades on the sphere in Figs. 6, 7. In viewing the 
Figs. 8, 9, it will be evident tiiat the eye, being naturally attracted by the 
light, dwells on this before passing on to the shadow. This reality of light 


Fig. 6. Fig. 7. 


Bnd indefinite quality of sliade render it necessaiy to make the l^hts opaque 
and the shades transparent ; the former, as may be seen in Ihe prominent 
portion both of the bust and 
curtain, being generally left 
round or convex. 

Before adverting to the 
choice 01 arrangement of the 
light and shade of a picture, 
it must be noticed, that ob- 
jects nearest the eye have 
the most brilliant lights, the 
darkest shades, and the deep- 
est shadovs, all of which di- Figs, s mi 9. 
minish in power as they recede from the eye, and that in the distance 
they pass into one uniform gray or neutral tint, just relieved perhaps by 
the light of the sky. Distance has a similar effect in regard to colours, 
and may be considered as a part of aerial perspective. For example, take 
some black object^ such as a hat or coat, and observe the difference both in 
the local colour and shadow, when close at hand, at the distance of a hun- 
dred yards, and at some third spot still farther removed. The eye soon 
discriminates the degree of depth in the shadows and of brilliancy in the 
lights ; and thus, by making a decided difference between the part of the 
object in shade and the cast or projected shadow, great appearance of 
sunlight and reflection is given. To this degradation of power, white 
forms the only exception ; a iact observed by Leonardo da Vinci, and again 
by Fresnoy, in his Art of Fainting, thus : 

" Whil«, wbeu it BMaea with luuFtwn'd luatie olear, 
Uay bear an object back, or bring it near : 
Aided b7 b)»c1(, it to tba front aipirra ; 
That aid witlidniwii, it diatantlj retires : 
Bat bbtek utuniz'd, of darkent midnight hue, 
Still calls each object nearer to the view.' 

Perhaps, in his first attempts, the student will see no difference in tone 
in the whole interior of the doorway (Rg. 10), or of the window (Fig. 11) ; 


btit by degrees he will perceive that much of the side of the doorway and 
the nmUionfl of the window are illuminated by reflected light ; and that 
even in the remaining portiooa of 
shade, part appears darker by be- 
ing in opposition to the strong light 
of the step, the sides of the door, 
mulliona, &c. ; that such parts are, 
in fact, cast shadows. Besides these 
observations, which apply to both 
figures, many varieties of shade 
are produced in the window by 
reflections from the differently 
coloured surfaces of the glass, cur- 
tains, blinds, &c. 

To most students in art there 
appears a great step or division be- 
tween the light and shade belonging 
to each object and that disposition ^- ^^' 

of light and shade more generally known as chiaroscuro ; this general 
anangement or selection being regarded as something depending on taste, 

and impossible to be ac- 
quired from another. But 
this is evidently a mis- 
taken idea ; for whatever 
has been learned by care- 
ful study fix>m nature and 
the works of the great 
masters can be commu- 

Art can never surpass 
nature ; the grandest ef- 
fects ever produced in pic- 
^8-^^- tures are but feeble in 

comparison to the glorious reality. Let ua, then, examine with the utmost 


care those ciFCtimstances and effects best adapted to cliarm the eye. Once 
understood, they will become firm data on which to found our system of 
art Great difficulty is experienced by some students in comprehending 
the difference between the representations of objects with their own light 
and shade alone, and that of the same objects combined with others and 
treated in a pictorial manner. To these aspirants, the notice in the Aca- 
demy Catalogue, that "no mere transcripts of natural history, or portraits 
without backgroimds, can be admitted," is a complete enigma. They 
should understand that, to constitute a picture, there must be a fortunate 
combination or careful arrangement of lines or forms ; and a favourable 
moment must be chosen for catching the light and shade most appropriate 
to the subject. The importance of the latter must at once be evident from 
the consideration, that the same subject may present itself imder various 
effects of Kghts and shadows, many of which would, if represented in a 
picture, distract the attention from parts more worthy the spectator's 
notice ; and that it is only by devoting themselves to a careftd study of 
well-digested rules, and a constant reference to faithful delineations of 
nature, that students can hope to build up a system which will enable them 
to express the various sentiments they may wish to convey. 

The principles and rules explained and illustrated in this section of the 
work will relieve the student from that most imcertain condition — ^the want 
of knowing how far he may depend upon nature, how far upon his own 
invention. Let him, however, constantly bear in mind what Sir Joshua 
Eeynolds says when specddng of Gainsborough, that " he had a habit of 
continually remai'king to those who happened to be about him whatever 
peculiarity of countenance, whatever accidental combination of figures, or 
happy effects of light and shadow, occurred in prospects, in the sky, in 
walking the streets, or in company. If, in his walks, he found a character 
that he liked, and whose attendance was to be obtained, he ordered h^Tn to 
his house ; and from the fields he brought into his painting-room stumps of 
trees, weeds, and animals of various kinds, and designed them, not Tiom 
memory, but immediately from the objects f and, following so laudable an 
example, let it be the constant aim of the student to draw his resources 
from the inexhaustible storehouse of nature. 




The student in landscape has this great advantage over the historical 
painter, that, wbereaa the latter is called upon to imagine the costumes 
of lus figures and to adjust the light and shade of his subject, the fonner, 
without stopping to consider the exact proportions of light and shade, or 
the precise quantity requisite to form a picture, may at once resort to 
nature for his model, having by his previous study acquired a knowledge 
of the right aspect under which to commence his work, leaving the 
occupation of producing imt^inary effects of l%ht and shade until his 
mind is well imbued with the truths of nature. In aU the first sketches 
let her be faithfully copied, and let no attempt be made to reverse her 
order by placing in light what appears in shadows. Proceeding thus, in 
all simplicity, the student will find nothing to perplex bim , On the 
contrary, in natural scenes he will often observe the most beautiful com- 
binations of light and shade that can possihly be desired 

By far the greater portion of most pictures is composed of tones which 

may be described as neither very light nor very dark ; these two extremes 

being reserved for comparatively small points of the subject "When, on the 

broad expanse of these middle tints, either light or dark forms are intended 

to be painted in relief, in order to give them prominency, they should he 

convex. (Vide Fig. 12.) It often happens that the light gradually increases 

to one point or focus of extreme brilliancy : in this case, light and dark 

being always most brilliant when opposed to each other, the greatest dark 

may frequently be found in 

close proximity to the most 

brilliant light, thus creating 

a most attractive point in 

the picture. (Vide Fig. 13.) 

This must not, however, 

be followed too closely, 

as occasionally it will be 

quite sufficient to contrast 

^- ^2. the greatest mass of light 

against some well-delineated object of interest with reflected light on it, such 

as in the church and castle in F^. 14. Here, by this disposition of the 


interest as well as the contrast, a sufficient d^ree of opposition is pro- 
duced ; and the shadow, by 
being graduated towards 
the centre of the subject, 
is not separated. The light 
of the cloud is repeated in 
the water, but not in such 
a quantity as to interfere 
with the mass in the sky. 
When clouds are pass- 
ii^ over the earth or sea ^ ^'• 

in parallel lines, their shadows on either surface, if unbroken by foiins or 
waves, will also be parallel^ and produce great simplicity and breadth of 

effect. The direction of 
the lines will not, how- 
ever, assist the perepec- 
I tive ; its force and truth 
j will depend entiiely on 
■ the management of tones 
I and hues called aerial 
i perspective. 

Another way, almost 

as simple, is to divide 

the picture into two 

parts di^onally, but broken in a slight degree by carrying a small poition 

of the shadow into the light, and the reverse. 

A gai n , if the subject be suitable in composition, such as a coast-scene, 
it may be divided into a large mass of light, having a wedge-like form of 
shadow projecting into it from either side. Such effect is indicated in 
Figs. 14 and 18. It may be remarked, that the converging lines of the 
wedge will greatly assist in directing attention to the point of interest ; and 
it would be well to remember, that when the eye is directed to that spot it 
should be supplied with some object of interest. This form can, of course, be 
given in light ; and on the sea-shore the clouds often float over the sea in 


sucli a wa; as to produce tliis effect. Many of our first marine painters have 
adopted this treatment with great success. 

When the intention is to concentrate the 
greatest interest on one particular point, 
the whole subject may consist of a gra- 
duated mass of tints, the half-light being 
sometimes relieved hy the half-dark, and 
the contrary. On the dark tint may be placed 
another, gradually approaching a focus or 
concentration of a deep ton^ ; here there 
may be a single spot of the greatest depth 
of colour, and in close proximity to this a 
bright but small mass of whiter such as a 
figure or the base of a column. This ar- 
rangement will give a great degree of in- ^- ^''■ 
terest to that portion of the subject in which such object is placed. (Vide 
Fig. 15.) It is to be remarked, however, that it mast not be a perfectly 
graduated tint, but rather a succession of tints having partially distinct 
forms or edges ; these forms greatly pontributing to the modelling of the 
whole, and, even in such softened forms as olouds, presenting a good 
effect This disposition of the masses is also shown in the morning effect 
at the head of the section ; in which example, as in the accompanying 
figure, the deepest shadow is neither placed in the for^^und, nor at the 
comers of the picture, nor yet in the extreme distance, but in the middle 
distance ; neither does Qie greatest light occur in the corners, though the 
modem school, more frequently than the old masters, has those portions of 
the subject light. The most approved p actice is, not to make those parts 
of the subject which are out of the focus of the eye attractive either with 
light or dark, but to assign them such a middle tint as may suffice to give 
solidity, and to bring out the other parts of the picture. 

Cast shadows, whether of individual objects in the picture, as in Fig. 16, 
or of more extended objects, as clouds, out of the line of vision, are very 
useful in indicatii^ the shape of the surface on which they are thrown ; 
oilen, while differing materially in appearance from the shape of the 


object^ defining more dietinctiy the ondiilations of the ground ; at other 
times seeming 
to hide unne- 
cessary or ug- 
ly forms, and 
to support the 
lines of the 
where the oat- 
lines of the 
objects them- 
selves are not 

sufficient for 

,, . Fig. 16. 

this pnrposa 

In the accompanying example (Fig. 16), the stems of the fir-trees in the 
middle distance are both darker and lighter than some of those in the 
for^pxiund, shoving that the greatest darks and the most brilliant lights 
may take that position when influenced by accidental l%ht and shade com- 
bined with local colour. As, in speaking of composition, it was suggested 
that lines receding &om the foreground or the base of the picture into the 
distance should be selected in preference to those in other directions, so it 

is in general better to 
avoidall such shadows 
as cross the picture in 
straight parallel lines, 
or, indeed, to show 
any lines too equally 
relieved throughout 
their whole extent: aa 
an instance of thesa 
defects, and also of 
the necessity for more 
Big. 17. variety of light and 

shadow, see Fig. 17 ; and, contrasting it with the same subject in Fig. 


18, observe how, by a different treatment^ a more concentrated efTect has 

been obtained. The 

lines of the fence, no 

longer bo equally and 

strongly marked, are 

rendered more pictiuv 

eaque by being varied 

and broken by sha^ 

AowB alternating with 

a few bright lights ; 

while, to give variety 

to the lines, such 

forms of foliage have 

been selected and placed in light as group well with the other portions 

similariy situated. The trees in the extreme distance are not permitted to 

he darker than those in the middle distance. 

In order to facilitate the study of l^ht- and shade, the student should 
make his first attempts either in the morning or in the evening, since at 
these times nature is presented with greater breadth ; the sun being low, 
shadows are more prolonged, and, by passing from one object to another, 
serves to connect those which, &om their situation, would otherwise be 
separated. While aiming at this desirable quality, — ^breadth, — ^the student, 

in claseifying 
the objects, will 
frequently find 
it an advantage 
to confine him- 
self to the re- 
presentation of 
every object at 
its own dis- 
tinct distance. 
Fig. 19. (Vide r^. 19.) 

In this study, the sky and distant mountain may be indicated by a tint of 


blue ; the middle distance by a deep warm gray, composed of the sky and 
foreground tints ; and the foreground by a rich warm colour. In this way, 
the general effect being gained at the expense of the smaller and less 
important lights and shades, great breadth is the result ; and, this secured, 
slight modifications may without detriment be introduced both in the 
colour and the interior forms of the massea A discipline of this kind in 
perspective and aerial effect, but for very different purposes, has lately been 
enforced among the Chasseurs de Yincennes, and has now become general 
in our own army : in order to educate the sight of all young riflemen, and 
enable them to judge of the exact distance of objects, they are called 
upon to note the variations which occur, not only in the size, but in the 
colour of objects under every kind of light and shada 

In imclouded daylight^ objects, whether in light or shade, will for the 
most part be relieved from the sky by their greater strength of tone. The 
sky being that portion of the picture whence all light proceeds, will gener- 
ally be much lighter than the distance, or any other part not having the 
highest lights ; dark stormy clouds, or bright objects in sunlight relieved 
fix)m a clear blue sky, are of course exceptions. 

In treating of the most simple division of chiaroscuro, namely, the light 
and shade belonging to each object, it was remarked that the greatest 
depth of shade and most brilliant lights are seen in the nearest objects ; 
but it does not follow that, in the larger masses of cast or accidental 
shadows, the greatest depths should be plcwed either in the foreground, or, 
as was formerly the custom, with the view of forcing the eye towards the 
centre, in the comers of the picture ; the contrary more frequently occurs 
in nature, where, owing to the clouds, or the shadows and local colours of 
trees and woods, the greatest mass of dark is often situated in the middle 
distance. In explanation of this, it must be observed, that in the for^round 
of the picture the eye penetrates so clearly into the details of eveiy object, 
that, to imitate this transparency, it cannot be made so dark as in the 
middle distance, where these details are lost in a breadth of shade. 

As a general rule, neither the light nor shade should be represented 
crossing the whole of the picture in lines parallel to the horizon, although 
in twilights there may be much of this appearance in the lower clouds. 


More variely ia obtained by introducing it on one side, near an upper cor- 
ner, and allowing it to 
pass Id unequal quui- 
titiea towards the op- 
posite side, as shown 
in Fig. 20, cottages 
on the coast of Soath 
Devon ; a eweet spot, 
where Collins paint«d 
some of his most suc- 
Fig. 80. ceesful pictures. In 

this subject the l^ht 
is introduced in a broad maas on the left, rather behind the objects in the 
picture, thus castii^ them nearly all into shadow, the greatest depth ai 
which is, in this instance, increased by the dark local colour of the thatch, 
bricks, &C. ; and these again coming in contact with strong light, the 
interest of the picture is thrown into the distance, where some carefidly 
delineated boats and figures at once increase both the light and the effect. 
The foreground, however, must not be left totally void of interest, bat 
should in a moderated degree repeat the light of the sky; a mode of 
treatment particularly desirable when the objects are not of sufKcient size 
or interest to catch the eye, as in Fig. 22. In Fig. 21, the cotU^es aro 
made the objects of 
the greatest interest, 
which is increased by 
figures, baskets, nets, 
and boats, relieved by 
their strong local co- 
lour from the walls ; 
the laige mass of dark 
clouds forming an ap- 
propriate background 

to the whola It is *"■«■"■ 

important to observe, that when any object is placed in light, it is essential 


to draw all the details with care, in order to give it that degree of finish 
which alone can canse the eye to rest upon it with satisfaction. "Without 
Bach care, Uie subject will appear bald and uncouth ; and, however truth- 
fully certain parts may be delineated, the whole will have an nnfinished and 
defective appearance. Should the student find a difKculty in representii^ 
any particulai object in light, it will be better to put such object under 
shadow, where it will attract less attention 

The aerial perspective of all receding roads, paths, or streams, is greatly 
assisted by shadows thrown across them. In Fig. 22, the ruts of the wheels 
being irregularly expressed, sometimes marked, sometimes not, destroy the 
formality of the lines ; in rivers, the banks may be shown more or less, the 
eye being at one point 
directed from them by 
the refiections — occa- 
sionally by reeds, bush- 
es, &c ; at other times, 
toavoid formality, they 
may be lost sight of 

The ripples also on 
streams generally as- 
sist in showing theper- „ 
Bpective : they should 

in some degree follow the form of the banks, and be marked only here 
and there, as they reflect the light or the dark colours of the sky. When 
the bright reflexes of the sun or sky are shown in these ripples, it will be 
necessary to give the water, and all the other lights of the picture, greater 
tone, since these must be of less power than the refiections either in water 
or polished surfaces, such as glossy leaves after rain, &c. See Chapter I. 
Section I. " On the Prismatic Colours," 

(jreat variety may be given to studies of laige objects near at hand 
by the way in which the outline or shape of the whole ia relieved : the 
cottage in Fig. 23 is an example. The mass is here generally darker than 
the sky, being brought out partly by shadow, and partly by the opposition 


of different local colours ; a small gleam of sunslime on the door and figurea 

about it, tboogh suf- 
ficient to create in- 
terest, is not enougb 
to compete with that 
of the sky. When 
maeses of light axe 
separated &om each 
other, or when the 
light ends too abrupt- 
ly, the artist, by in- 
troducing a white or 
^ ^'- light-coloured object, 

such as a cloud or the sail of a boat, may both add to the quantity and 
alter the shape of the mass of light, while he increases the interest and 
prevents the light from becoming isolated. To explain this more fully, 
the author takes the liberty of recuwing to an old but very appropriate 
anecdote. A certain artist had introduced into his picture a black and 
white dog in the act of running across the road ; a friend expressed the 
highest approbation of the work, but added, that "for the life of him he 
could not understand what the dog was doing there." "0," replied the 
painter, "he is mere- 
ly carrying the light 
and shade thrOT^h 
the picture." 

Masses of dark, 
either in fullstrength 
or broken by aomeob- 
ject in half strength, 
may with good effect- 
be projected into or 
relieved against the 
sky. Fig. 24 repre- 
sents a ruin, with straight and severe lines, but varied in quantity; the 


vbole mass l)eiiig in this instance relieved from the bright light in the 
simplest manner, giv- ! 

ing at once quietness, i 

firmness, breadth, and : 

solidity to the picture. I 

The sun being behind 
the ruin, his beams 
appear to break the 
straight edge of the 
walls, and, spreading 
over the surrounding 

parts, give a half-light 

to what would other- ^- ^'■ 

wise be in shadow ; the cattle in the fotegroand receive the light in a 
natural way, but being only of secondary interest, care ie taken not to give 
them too mnch importance 

"When it is requisite to place an object in the centre of the picture, with 
an equal amount of distance or background on each side, as in Fig. 25, 
it will be advisable to vary the effect by placing the darkest mass con- 
trasted with the laigest and brightest light on that side to which the atten- 
tion la to be directed. If, at the same time, additional interest be created 

by the presence 
of one or two 
figures, while 
the other part 
is left in quiet 
monotony, all 
inclination of 
the eye to wan- 
I der will be en- 

tirely removed. 
' In the ezam- 

^ 26. p|g_ ti^g parallel 

shapes of the house are likewise broken by cast shadows ; and the direction 


taken by the shadow in the foreground assists in giving variety to the 
composition. Again, in Fig, 26, two avenues are seen presenting similar 
appearances and like difficulties : here, to obviate the unpictnresque effect 
resulting from showing two parallel forms of equal interest, that vista along 
which the load passes is blocked np with shadow and figures in shade ; and 
the light being allowed to strike obhquely on the house, converts the whole 
mass of the building into a form both more suitable and larger in quan- 
tity, thus leadiag the eye up the extent of the valley, designedly made 
the principal point of attraction. 

In Figs. 27 and 28, we have that view of Trent which so often attracts 
the notice of the artist In Fig. 27, the tower is relieved in dark local 
colour, becoming gradoally lighter towaids the base; the light, though 

principally in the sky, 
being connected with 
that on the buildings, 
which are intended in 
this effect to fonn the 
diief interest: the dark 
tower, however, is not 
suffered to remain iso- 
lated, but is made to 
harmonise, both in 
form and light and 
"^ *'• shade, with the rest 

of the picture by means of the bridge and shadow on (he river. The 
light of the clouds is also reflected in the water, the latter being varied 
and relieved by the strong colour of the foreground. In Fig. 28, on the 
contrary, a momentary gleam of svinshine, piercing the dark stormy clouds, 
illumines the tower, which is thus strongly relieved ; the cast shadow on 
the building is more definite, and the contrast of light and shade is 
repeated on the sails and boats. By this treatment, the chief interest 
being concentrated on the tower, the view might with propriety be called 
"The Old Tower at Trent in the Tyrol;" whereas the former might as 
appropriately be named "The City of Trent." It may be remarked, that 


tho name by whicli the artist intends his picture to be inown often gives 
a clue to the treat- 
ment, not only of tbe 
light and shade, but 
of the whole compo- 

"When shadow is 
thrown all over any 
part or object in a 
compoaitioD, it is 
h^hly important that 
the shape should be 
agreeable without be- 

ing formal or peculiar; when two or three objects are grouped together 
nuder the same shadow, monotony may be avoided by some difTerence in 
the local colours. Should objects in the picture present a shape unpleasing 
or deficient in quantity, the light may be either carried on by other objects 
or represented in the sky : a different effect may also be obtained by 
choosing a different time of day. Objects of iincouth or dii&cult form may 
be united by some general effect, so as to dispense with a portion of theit 
outline : in this way parallel lines may be discarded, and others obtained 

unequal in size, and 
varied by the arrange- 
ment of the accidental 
shadows. Any for- 
mal manner of treat- 
ing subjects, such as 
relieving light against 
dark, or dark against 
I l^ht, should be used 
I with caution, and 
varied by difTerence 
'^' in the quantities and 

tones, otherwise it might lead to a mannerism which, being contrary to 


the variety and simplicity of nature, is usually distinguished as a " tricky" 
style of art. 

In Fig. 29, great breadth is gained by placing light upon light and 
dark upon dark, with a large portion of half-tint of a deep tone. Subjects 
treated in this style present, if managed with skill, a very broad, rich, and 
pleasing eflTect. When light passes into light until it arrives at a focus or 
point of greatest intensity, a brilliant and natural effect, approximating to 
that produced by light proceeding from the sun or other luminary, is the 
resiQt. This simple gradated mode of treatment is often used to obtain 
breadth in colour as well as light ; thus warm colours, having been intro- 
duced in the first instance, may be made to pass gradually into those of 
a cooler tone. In these cases, a small portion of light in the one, and of 
colour in the other, may be repeated on the side opposed to the largest 

The author trusts that the above brief notice of chiaroscuro, or light and 
shade, may enable the student to comprehend at least its leading prin- 
ciples. These are of such vast importance to his ultimate success, that 
time spent upon their acqidsition will be weU bestowed, and not only 
greatly conduce to a rapid progress in the power of making pictures gene- 
rally, but also materially lessen the dif&culties of water-colour painting. 




EOT freedom in all the motions of the 
fingers, hand, and wrist, and dexterous 
management of the brush, should be ac- 
quired before the student attacks the dif- 
ficulties of colour ; and the time spent in 
practisiiig with sepia or neutml tints, with 
the view of gaining this &cility, will be 
well bestowed ; for the brash is a much 
more efiectiTe instrument than the pencil, 
it we can represent at the same time fonn, 
ade, and colour. Sii Joshua Saynolds ob- 
That the brush is the instrument hy which 
jnt must hope to obtain eminence. "What, 
impress upon you ia, that, whenerer an op- 

^ _, ., ^ paint youi studies instead of drawing them. 

This will give you snch a facility in using colours, that in time they will 
arrange themselves under the brush even without the attention of the hand 
that conducts it" We must, therefore, before commencing the study of 
coloui, describe briefly the difTerent exercises which are neceasaiy to the 
attainment of this desirable power. 

Sepia, without any admixture, is generally chosen as the most suitable 
pigment for brush-practice, as its light washes are extremely clear, and it 
possesses great power. Its general colour is not disagreeable in any part of 
the picture ; and should other tones be required, it wiU harmonize well with 
cobalt and the other blues which are used in the sky ; it may also be resorted 
to with equal advautoge in the richer tints of the foreground. The paper 
employed may be white or tinted ; the latter, as it allows the use of the 
Chinese white for the Hghta, is generally preferred. 

The paper should be raised on a desk, forming an angle of 30 degrees 


with the table. The hand may bear lightly on the paper, or be moved about 
freely from the elbow. The whole person should be held nearly upright, — 
certainly more upright and distant from the surface than it generally is in 
writing, the eye having to include a larger space. The brush should be 
moderately filled with colour, and the touches made with boldness and de- 
cision ; always, in the first place, securing the form on the outline of the 
tint, and then completing the whole by the backward motion of the brush. 

The examples given in Plate VI. indicate some of those exercises which 
are the most usefuL They begin with a flat tint, the power of producing 
which is indispensable. The brush should be filled with colour, and the 
tint begun at the left-hand comer, and, after having passed along the 
outside edge at the top, should proceed rather diagonally across the form ; 
at the same time care should be taken that the supply is kept up, as in 
laying a flat tint an extra quantity is necessary to give the flatness. 

A gradated tint (No. 1), beginning light and increasing in depth of 
colour as it progresses, is next to be attempted. Here the tint commences 
light, the brush being filled by degrees with the darker colour. In No. 2 
this operation is repeated in an opposite direction. These exercises are ex- 
tremely useful ii^ accustoming the student to take up water or colour in the 
requisite proportions. By referring to the example following, the bad eflect 
resulting from a brush being too full is seen in the excess of colour settling 
as it dries round the edges of the tint. Flat and gradated tints are em- 
ployed in all parts of a drawing. When decided forms are required, such 
as the touches to indicate foliage or grass, tints which are made with less 
colour in the brush are more usefuL And lastly, the colour is some- 
times used with nearly a dry brush, and even dragged over the surface of 
the paper sideways, to give additional roughness or texture to bi'oken groimd 
and rocks, as shown in the remaining examples in the plate. 

By tMfcse preliminary exercises much is gained. The pupil becomes 
acquainted with a few of the powers of the instruments he is principally to 
depend upon for his efifects ; his eye is tredned to observe the minutest 
gradation in tone or colour ; he will also soon perceive that colour has very 
different appearaiices when put on full or dry, when floated, blotted, or 
dragged. And the close observation that these exercises occasion wiU even- 


tually produce more refinement In his works than if he hastily dashed in 
his colour at random. Indeed, the author considers the dexterous manage- 
ment of the brush and colours so important, that at the risk of being tedious 
to some, he has in this edition considerably added to this portion of his 
work in the succeeding pages on " Mode of Working,*' 


In the preceding pages, the nature of colour, including the various 
changes it undergoes, either by mingling or contrast^ has been briefly 
described ; and the student has been made acquainted with the qualities 
of the pigments^ and other materials employed in producing its effects : 
some explanations have likewise been given of the terms used by artists, — 
the manipulations of the brush, &a We will now, however, proceed to 
describe with more minuteness the usual way in which a water-colour 
painting is commenced, and the different modes of working generally used, 
leaving still further details regarding the execution of its various portions 
to be discussed under their proper heads. 

The paper stretched (as described in page 63) having become thorou^y 
dry, a clear outline of the subject is to be made upon it with a moderately 
hard pencil This outline, although requiring to be carefully done, must 
be effected, if possible, without having recourse to india-rubber, or even 
to bread, as the former iigures the surface of the paper, and the latter 
tends to make it greasy. The student will not find this difficult if he has 
previously acquired the requisite d^ree of certainty in drawing with the 
pencil No increase of power in the stroke indicating light and shade, no 
sparkling dots marking minute touches of foliage, should appear in the 
outline ; all these interfere more or less with the tints and forms, which 
are to be produced entirely with the brush. 

When the outline is complete, the drawing should be placed on a desk, 
at the inclination already described, in order that the eye may more 
easily embrace the whole subject, and that the washes of colour may flow 
downwards. In this respect, the mode of commencing a wtiter-colour 
drawing differs greatly from that adopted with oil ; for while, oil-paintings 
are begun and finished on the easel in nearly an upright position, all large 



water-colour drawings must he commenced in the manner described, although 
they may hejinished on the easeL It is customary to begin with a wash of 
some warm but broken colour applied all over the surface ; without this the 
paper appears opaque and cold — a defect remedied by this general tone, 
which gives an appearance of sunlight to the whole subject. The tint or 
wash, having been previously mixed up in a saucer, should be applied with 
a large flat camel-hair brush, commencing at the upper part, the left-hsmd 
comer, and passing gradually downwards. The tint is generally made with 
a neutral orange compound of yellow ochre and brown madder ; but it may 
be advantageously varied by using for the more delicate aerial skies 
cadmium and rose madder; for the foreground, burnt sienna; and for 
water, raw sienna : but however composed, it must be delicate and scarcely 
perceptibla The paper must now be suffered to dry thoroughly, and 
afterwards be washed over with abimdance of pure soft or distilled water, 
either poured from a jug or applied by means of a large brush ; the water 
as it runs off being received on a tray, soft cloth, or sponge. These opera- 
tions may be repeated, with variations in the tints, as often as is deemed 
requisite ; always taking care to allow the paper to dry, and to use the pure 
water washing process between each application of colour. The result gives 
an aerial tint of great purity, not to be obtained in any other way. 

Perhaps some may say, " Why not use a slightly warm-tinted paper at 
once V* But the student must recoUect that this tint is varied, and by no 
means flat or of one uniform colour ; and in that respect very different and 
superior to a tinted paper. By this first process also the outline, although 
rendered faint, is fixed on the paper ; hence it is necessary to have it at 
once clear, decided, and delicate. In clouds, in extreme distances, or in 
snowy mountains, it is even advisable to omit it altogether, trusting entirely 
to the brush to produce the required forms. The tints produced by the 
process we have described are flatter and more aerial than those resulting 
from a single application of the coloured wasL A rough surface (such 
as that described in the note on " Paper," Chap. II. Section III.) gives an 
additional variety to these aerial tones, provided the colours are pure and 
have not settled into the depressions. If it be considered desirable to increase 
the granulated appearance, place a sheet of absorbent white paper over the 


Burfece immediately after the tint has been washed with water, pressing 
equally upon it in all peurts ; this will take more of the colour away fix)m 
the prominent portions of the paper than from the depressions, and thus 
give an increase of graaulation. The aerial tones are to be carried over the 
entire distance, and, in fact, over nearly the whole of the drawing, with 
the exception of the foreground : they facilitate the representation of air, 
notwithstanding any other tints that may be placed over them. 

If the eflfect intended to be produced be that of a waxm sunset, the 
drawing must be commenced near the horizon with a rich tint of yellow 
ochre, cadmium, or Indian yellow, passing oflf into rose madder, vermilion, 
or Indian red ; and when dry, the tones must be repeated in conjunction 
with the process of washing. Sufficient strength having been obtained in 
these tones, the brush is to be charged with a small portion of warm colour, 
and, recommencing at a Uttle distance fix)m the sun, the wash is to be passed 
over the others ; but as it recedes from the light, it is almost immediately to 
be changed for one of cobalt blue, either pure or mixed with rose madder ; 
and this process is to be repeated, each time taking up a purer blue. If 
there be any clouds in the sky, they are to be left untouched by these 
cooler washes. The shadowed parts of the clouds may next be added, and 
aUowed to pass into the blue on one side, so as to present no definite edge 
there. This will give sufficient softness to their form ; while the edges on 
the other sides, or that nearest the light, are to be rendered with a firm 
touch. In sunset effects, the first tones may all be given with the drawing 
in an inverted position, so that the light may flow into the dark tones, and 
not the dark into the light. All these first washes and tints are to be 
produced with a fuU brush, which makea them dry flatter and look richer 
than they would do if applied with a small quantity of colour ; but as the 
drawii\g advances towards completion, more freedom, both as to the quanti- 
ties of pigment and the manner of using the brush, is permissible: the latter 
may now be held so as to drag sideways over the surface, leaving scattered 
lights. In laying on these first tints a certain degree of boldness is desirable, 
so that the forms of clouds may be left with the well defined edges essential 
to their character, and without which they would look like wool or steam at 
a short distance from the spectator. ' When any of these first tints prove too 


heavy, and cannot be suflGiciently removed by repeated waBhings, it will be 
necessary to use a sponge, or by pouring quantities of water on the drawing, 
and applying a rather 6ti£f brush, against the hair, to loosen the colour and 
thus remove it. If during the process the drawing be long in drying, it 
must not on that account be held to the fire, as drying it too quickly 
would cause the colour to produce a hard edge. Drawings are worked 
with the greatest freedom when the paper is slightly damp, but not so damp 
as to allow one colour to run into another previously applied. 

The student must devote great attention to laying on these first tints ; 


and when he has secured a neat outline, accompanied with a good study of 
light and shade, as described in Section II., — ^proving also the proportions 
and situations of the different masses of colour by blotting them in small, 
{vide plates 23 and 26) — ^he may then proceed with boldness and energy ; 
always recollecting that the washes dry rather lighter and cooler than they 
appear while wet, and also that they lose by contrast with the more powerful 
colours of the foreground added afterwards. As a general rule, a tint should 
not be retouched while wet ; although, while in progress, a full wash may 
be increased either by taking up more of the same or a portion of some 
other colour, thus deepening the tone or giving it variety ; or the tint may 
be softened off, and a contrary effect obtained, by repeatedly discharging a 
portion of the colour from the brush, and taking up water in its place. 
Again, some part of the colour may be abstracted by the brush when in 
a rather drier state : the spot will thus present a lighter tone when dry. 

Should a tint appear either too warm or too cold in hue, or should some 
colour predominate in too great a degree, the defect may be obviated by 
washing it, and, while quite wet, adding a tint of an opposite character. 
Thus clouds too purple in tone may be corrected by a wash of ivory black, 
too vivid a green by a transparent gray. Much increase of power is often 
attained by passing transparent washes over others more opaque ; by this 
treatment variety is gained, and the whole effect heightened : at other times 
it is advisable to stipple in pure colours in juxtaposition, provided they har- 
monisa Great depth of colour may be obtained by hatching or dappling 
colours over tints, and allowing the eye, as it were, to penetrate the mass. 

Stippung is a mode of blending colours one with another by interlacing 


them, or placing small portions of pure pigments side by side, so that the 
eye, passing rapidly from one to the other, unites them, and thus produces 
the same or perhaps more powerful effect than a mixed tint. One colour 
may thus be considered to be broken by a second, or even by more. This 
process has been used from the earliest oil-painters until now, when it 
appears to be more particularly practised by the water-colour school 
Turner has given us examples of most successful stippling ; and by using 
it has often gained a beautiful harmony and variety in his colouring. By 
the employment of this mode of handling, a play of colour is given that is 
extremely agreeable : it may be compared to the effect, but much more 
refined, of shot-silk. After the monotony of a flat tint, the variety and 
relief afforded by stippling on some additional colour is very great. Lines 
and forms can be indicated with just so much distinctness as is necessary ; 
and by adding to the intricacy without disturbing the breadth, the eye 
penetrates these tints with the same pleasure that it searches into the 
undulating distances in nature ; by it the general tone can be gradated to 
the extremest depths, yet without approaching blackness ; for pure colour, 
although dark, will always be there. Colour that is crude or wrong can 
also be altered without the disagreeable and doubtful process of washing 
out : thus, if a mountain side in shadow be too cold or blue, a little brown 
madder may be stippled in, either in flakes, long or short, side by side, or 
crossed in diamond forms. If thus, it is sometimes called hatching ; the 
interstices are also often filled up with some other colour, or small dots are 
filled in, as we see in fine line engravings. Should a slight green be wished, 
the blue or purple hue may be further broken by stippling in a pure yellow. 

In stippling, beware that the lines do not obtrude themselves too much ; 


they would then degenerate into mannerism. Some degree of firmness is 
necessary ; but the lines or dots should all have a certain reference to the 
general direction of the surface. An excellent example of the effect pro- 
duced by skilful hatching or stippling, and thus varying the tone, may 
be seen in a fine water-colour drawing by Turner, exhibited at the Art- 
Treasures Exhibition, at Manchester, 1857, called "Bamborough Castle.' 
Sometimes a few well-placed strokes of nearly pure red are hatched over 
a floated blot of cool gray, giving a fine warm glow to the lighted side of 


some cloud ; at other times a ruin, evidently blotted in with nearly the 
same tint as the sky, is made to relieve considerably warmer by the sky 
being stippled down with nearly pure blue. It may be sufficient to explain 
that hatching is a kind of stippling in lines crossed at acute angles, thus ; 
and stippling is applied to the touching with short feather-like 
strokes — ^long, short, or even in little dots ; or the two may be 
combined, as we frequently see it in line-engravings, the dots 
being added if the lines are too evident As a general rule, to 
preserve purity of colouring it is better to use the pigments 
^\J^>^ j nearly pure than to mix them on the palette beforehand : thus, 
if ttie part is cold and wants warmth, it may be stippled with 
cadmium and crimson lake or rose madder ; if it wants strength or blueness, 
pure ultramarine is an excellent pigment, as it generaUy harmonises well 
with the tones previously laid on, " clearing it up,** as artists say. Should 
these ptipplings appear too evident, they may be easily reduced by rubbing 
them with a Uttle stale bread, as ultramarine comes ofif with great facility. 

On Blotting-in and Gradating. — ^An appearance of dexterity and 
ease is attractive in every art; and in none more than in water-colour 
painting. The labour with which the eflFect is attained is hidden ; and the 
general eflTect, th^t which strikes the eye of every one, as a passing glance 
at nature would, is represented. This is the broad and rapid rendering of 
landscape truth that is still, and has been, so attractive in David Cox. It 
is not to be attempted by the beginner ; but is most successfully practised 
by those who have studied nature with the greatest care and attention. 
This mode of representing nature is used with more success in water- 
colours than in any other style ; and, as it has been observed by a clever 
critic, "It deals with things in mass, marking the broad distinctions of 
deep shade, half-tone, and light in all its gradations, and leaving out much 
of the details of objects. This kind of work demands to be viewed at a 
certain distance. It is true as far as it goes ; and it is based on the theoiy 
that this mode of representation is the best suited to human senses and 
human faculties: it abandons advisedly the attempt at microscopic ren- 
dering of the infinite minutisB of a landscape, a figure, a group, or a face. 
In sketches this mode is seen in its most recognisable and avowed form ; 



but it has been employed by whole schools, upon system, in aU their works. 
The picture is to be true as far as it goes ; but it does not profess to give 
the whole truth. We should judge works of this class on their own prin- 
cipla*' This broad way of using water-colours is called by some " blotting- 
in;" and as some quantity of colour is required at once, it is better to 
make use of saucers in which to rub up from the cakes the different tones. 
The three or four pans in the lid of the sketching-box will do ; but scarcely 
so well, as the colour in them is liable to mix. We will, however, endeavour 
to describe the more rapid alteration of tints principally used in sketching, 
and in the first stage of works called "blotting-in.'' For an effect such 
as Plate 8, "Start Point," South Devon, he should in one saucer mix a 
wash composed of cobalt, rose madder, and a little ochre, the cobalt 
predominating; these being the three pigments he would pass over each 
other in the first process. In a second saucer he mixes another tint of 
light red, cobalt, and a little black; in a third, indigo, brown madder, 
and a little raw sienna. He should have at hand two or three brushes : 
with one filled with the first tint he lays in the blue ether; with the second, 
less full, and taken up before the first tint is dry, he puts in the shadowed 
side of the clouds, and passes over the cliffs and also the sea, having waited 
until the edge near the horizon and cliffs was dry. This process must be 
used with some care, for if too diy the colourspwill not float or blend ; and 
in order to give richness of colour, the wash must be fiill enough to aUow 
the particles to dispose themselves well on the paper. As this plate is 
more folly described in the section on "Skies," we will now turn to 
Plate 7, where a mountainous effect is left in the first or shadowed-out 
state, having aU the general tints melted or blotted into each other. A 
water-colour drawing thus commenced may be thought like a skilfully 
gradated crayon drawing, but possess more transparency, and can be 
worked upon with advantage when dry, as tints which harmonise tell with 
great effect on such a rich ground. This ground also affords an excellent 
body of colour from which to take out lights, as the tint, being firm, causes 
them to relieve with great force, the colour also comes off more readily and 
completely, and the lights appear brighter when either rubbed or ripped out 
with the scraper. They may also be stopped out previously to putting on the 


tint : for this purpose white of egg is used; and when the general tints have 
been broadly laid in, the lights are recovered by rubbing with bread or india- 
rubber. In addition to the tints already described in the saucers 1, 2, and 3, 
the student may have two or three others of a deeper and richer description ; 
namely, cobalt, sepia, and brown madder, indigo and purple madder, Indian 
yellow and Prussian blue, and Indian yellow and brown madder. With 
these fcQl tints he proceeds as before described, taking up just so much in his 
brush as will allow of a certain amount of floating or blending with the pre- 
ceding and succeeding quantity either of the same tint or of another tint 
and fresh brush. The great art is to preserve the requisite gradation, not 
allowing some of the tints to be either lighter or darker than they should 
be. With all this care much still remains to be done, either by further 
blottings-in or more delicate variations, by stippling, or dragging on colours 
in a drier state, or pencilling with different shaped brushes and tones. 

To Gradate a Tint fbom one Colour into another. — This practice 
follows that on gradating tints with sepia alone ; and the pupil should be 
able to do it well before he tries more intricate gradation : he should first 
rub up a good tint of Vandyke brown in a saucer, enough to fill his brush 
three or four times will be sufficient ; in a second saucer he wiQ rub up 
Prussian blue. He begins with the brush full of Vandyke brown ; and as 
it becomes empty, he takes •up more and more of the blue, discharging a 
portion from his brush each time before he replenishes it, until, when he 
finds it necessary to obtain purer blue, he dips his brush in water, and 
drags it back against the edge of his glass, thus discharging the larger 
quantity of the brown : he now charges his brush with blue ; and at last 
washing it thoroughly, he presses the water out of it> and takes up pure 
blue alone. The incliaation to run downwards will always cause the colour 
which is uppermost to predominate, unless care is taken to prevent it. To 
gradate a tint with regularity requires great practice ; and it is better for 
this kind of study to use cake-colours, rubbed up in saucers, that the uncer- 
tainty of the taking up portions of pigments from the moist pans may be 
avoided. It is also difficult to know how much of the colour passes off 
when the brush is replenished with water ; nothing therefore but practice 
and close observation can teach this art. 


DBAQomo. — One of the chief objections urged against water-colour 
painting; is a deficiency of force and variety of texture and surface in the 
foreground. In oil-painting, the body and solidity of the chief pigments, 
with the mode of using them with white in the lights, enables the painter 
to produce with ease the greatest variety of surface and texture; he can also, 
with the power he possesses, glaze down with transparent pigments this 
surface, tmd by partially rubbing off this tone from the prominent portions 
again vary the texture. To imitate this manipulation, the water-colour 
painter uses his one or two sable brushes with all the dexterity and variety 
of movements that he can invent: in some instances, owing to the nature of 
his materials, he even has the advantage over the rival mode in floating on 
pure washes ; for instance, whether they are very liquid, as for skies, or 
more consistent, as for blotting-in- To compete with it in the foreground, 
he has adopted a process called dragging, or the drag. The brush, mode- 
rately charged with colour, is held at a very acute angle with the paper ; 
some of the hairs are caught by the prominences of the rough paper, and 
depositing the colour on them, produce a grain or granulation differing 
firom and superior to the regular tooth of either ticking, canvas, or paper. 
If done with a dexterous and rapid hand, directed by a cultivated taste^ 
there is an appearance of ease and dash about it that is very captivating. 
Of course colour can be dragged over the pure white paper ; but it is more 
frequently employed in conjunction with tints laid with the full brush, aa 
in Plate 6 : a few broad washes or tints laid on, the brush, becoming drier, 
may be charged with more pigments from the box, swept, dragged, or even 
pushed about, but 'always, be it understood, with some decided intention. 
A variety of smaller forms are thus made ; and the eye being allowed to 
wander among and through them, the stiffness and formal mechanical look 
is got rid of, and an agreeable freedom produced. Dark is in this case 
dragged over light, one transparent pigment over another : but sometimes in 
the immediate foregroimd, and in trees, light is required over dark ; and it 
is in this instance that Chinese white appears to be of the greatest use in 
water-colours. The white is mixed up with the pigments on an earthen 
palette, and should look like rich thick cream ; the brush is charged with 
it ; if for a sharp flat edge or rock, it may be made into a wedge-like form : 


the white is laid at this place at once, thus securing the smooth and soUd 
portion; the remainder is then dragged on more or less where necessary. It 
should be remembered that pigments mixed with white always appear colder 
and grayer than without ; but yet we must not diminish the quantity of 
white, for that would make them look grayer still, but increase the quantity 
of warm colour. All are agreed in one thing, — ^whether advocates for the 
use of white with all pigments and in aU parts of the picture, or whether 
it should be restricted to the lights in the foreground, that white used thin 
has a poor and miserable effect It must be confessed that this white does 
not bear glazing-down with transparent pigments so well as the white lead 
in oil : it is apt to absorb the glaze, and also to be moved. There is yet 
another use made of the process of dragging, which, when skilfully done 
has a very pleasing effect : it ia, instead of mixing two pigments together to 
make a tint, to drag one on the paper first, find when dry pass the other 
over it ; a mixture is thus made which, while preserving the purity of the 
tone, gives texture ; it has more freedom and ease than stippling or hatching- 
with different colours, ttnd for many purposes in landscapes has quite as 
good an effect Should these dragged tones prove too rough or crude, they 
are easily softened by passing over them such a light and ftdl tint as may be 
required. By this mode we can imitate the varied, speckled appearance of 
granite very accurately. If the general tint, for example, be dark in tone 
and gray, and warmed with little spots of rich colour, we can first lay on a 
full gradated wash of brown madder and indigo, taking off with a partially- 
dried brush some lighter portions, which will leave only a general rounded 
light, without any edge ; we may then drag a Uttle brown or purple madder 
over it, or, if spotted with moss, brown pink ; over this again we can take 
the opaque gray, made with Chinese white and ochre; and after all we may 
still glaze down with some transparent and warmer colour. The rough 
bark of trees will be found to give great employment to this process. 

On the Use of Body Coloue in Wateb-coloxje Painting, — Our 
readers will perceive that we consider the great and peculiar charm of 
the English school of water-colour painting is the extraordinary beauty and 
transparency of the air tints, the refinement and truthfulness of the aerial 
perspective, and the wonderful brilliancy that our pigments have when the 


light of white paper is reflected and modified by passing throngh them. We 
are acknowledged to have the best paper and pigments in the world ; and 
our mode of using these materials has hitherto been so successful, that we 
may be considered to have founded a style of painting no way inferior to that 
of the Van Eycks in oil or the Pre-Eafifaelite painters in jfresco. Holding 
this opinion, we have asserted one leading principle from the beginning to 
the end of this work, namely, that the best way of using water-colours is to 
preserve the transparency ttnd purity of the pigments as much as possible ; 
and we consider it of the first importance to bear in mind and tiy to pre- 
serve the light thrown back by the paper to the eye, which ought to be as 
little injured in its character of brightness as possible by the means taken 
to represent the forms and colours of natural objects. 

When we are, therefore, asked for additional information upon another 
and, in our opinion, totally different mode of employing pigments mixed with 
opaque white, wq can only refer to the section on the use of Chinese white on 
tinted papers for rapid sketching, or to the restricted employment of it in the 
foreground by the process of dragging, scrumbling, &c. Since the publi- 
cation of the first edition of this work, the use of Chinese white or oxide of 
zinc has greatly increased; and the constant recurrence to this mode of 
gaining effects by artists of established reputation, in fact, by nearly all the 
first men of the school, has doubtless caused these demands. It will there- 
fore be as well if we consider without prejudice the advantages and disad- 
vantages of this alteration of style in the use of water-colours. We will 
dismiss at once the term illegitimate, as sometimes applied to it, as no argu- 
ment against it, — all pigments and vehicles or materials being available in 
any mode that can assist by their properties in bringing out the greatest 
beauty and force of the mode adopted ; but before we engraft any new and 
totally different manner of working on the old, let us at any rate examine 
very carefully whether we gain or lose in higher and more essential points ; 
let us see it whUe increasing our facility, our apparent power, we are not 
decreasing other qualities that are more important. In language. Trench 
says, we may have many innovations displacing old fashioned words, but we 
may not gain in real force or beauty by the change. This we take to be 
equally true in Art ; and we consider it the duty of a teacher, who from 


the exacting nature of his employment does not compete in any great degree 
as an artist, to point out those modes open to objection. In the first place, 
by the use of opaque white we gain faciKty, for a broad flat tint without it 
is not very easily laid ; and the laying on delicate tints, and the repeated 
washings that are necessary in order to secure a well gradated tint, is a very 
tedious process, while the more vigorous and, when skilfully done, more 
transparent mode of laying in a gradated tint at once is exceedingly difi^ult 
to the unpractised hand In the first process of repeated and flowing washes 
we can alter and correct at leisure ; but in the blotting-in we must do it at 
onca Now by mixing Chinese white with our pigments, we can lay on 
washes or tints, and also touch them again and again, backwards and 
forwards, with hatching and stippling while drying, and thus secure a 
flat and gradated surface; we can even return to it again, and lay on 
further washes or tints. The white also appears whiter than the best white 
paper ; and if we use a slightly tinted paper, as some do, we seem to gain in 
brilliancy and extend our scale of colouring. As this is an important point, 
we ought to be quite secure that the white we are using does not alter itself, 
or affect other pigments. We should make it our first duty (if we want our 
high lights, our delicate grays, and flesh-tones, to preserve their purity, upon 
which so much depends) to try whether the white we are thus spreading all 
over the paper is liable to no change from the innumerable foul gases 
often not only found but introduced in our houses. Look, for instance, 
at the quantity of gas burnt in all our drawing and dining rooms and 
libraries. Ask, the librarian of the Athenesum what effect it has upon the 
bindings of books. See what a change it produces on the colour of papers 
submitted to it. Are we always sure that the Chinese white, or oxide of 
zinc, now so called, and made by all colourmen, is not ^ected by this 
destructive agent? Does it not change tone when submitted to sulphu- 
retted hydrogen, found so abundantly in many houses ? We believe, from 
repeated trials, that oxide of zinc manufactured by some has still a small 
portion of iron in it, and that the least trace of that wiU soon cause the 
lights covered with it to go far lower in tone, and look far more huffy than 
pure white paper. In this respect, then, we ought to be sure we shall gain 
before we employ it on such occasions. Again, when we put on white we 


find it absorbs in a great degree the succeeding washes of transparent colour 
that are passed over it. In fact, it always appears uppermost and opaque ; 
not like white-lead in oil, which when dry is firm, and allows transpa- 
rent glazing and washes to be passed over it without moving. The white in 
water-colours, on the contrary, rides up and washes off, and always forces 
the surfece up to the eye, preventing the apparent permeability so important 
in shadows and skiea For example, compare this delicate face stippled with 
white-added to the pigments, with that stippled with pure transparent pig- 
ments : the latter looks like semi-transparent skin pencilled with delicate 
veins, varied with the blush of the blood mounting up and showing through 
it ; and the former has the appearance of a woman who uses a cosmetic, and 
dusts her face all over with it, producing a mealy whiteness which will never 
bear a close scrutiny. Look, again, at this gray-headed man with black 
beard, worked without white, the high lights scratched, cut, or ripped out^ the 
secondary rubbed out and toned down again with transparent graya What 
firmness in the lights ! what transparency in the shadows I Whereas one 
worked with white aU through must either be viewed from a distance to 
have the effect of the air added to it, or else one is in danger, like the 
Persian ambassador, of accusing the painter of plastering the beard with 
whitening, or introducing gray hairs instead of light. Look well at 
Turner's water-colour drawings in the two styles, as they hang side by side 
in the National Gallery, Compare " Moor Park," done in the early trans- 
parent manner, without opaque white, on white paper, with the "Elvers of 
France," on gray paper, in which body colour is profusely used. Not only 
is there a truer transparency in the old method, but actually more simlight 
and far more reflected light. Once more, let us examine the texture it 
permits us to give our different difitances and substancea Now in our 
opinion, and also, we believe, in that of many others, the peculiar grain or 
granulation of a rather coarse paper has always been considered as greatly 
assisting in giving an appearance of atmosphere — ^the pure, transparent, 
palpitating fluid floating over the whole earth ; air, as it often is even in 
moist England, not mist or white fog, or too much vapour. We believe, 
we say, that the varied prominences and depressions found in this kind of 
white paper (when covered with transparent tints, and viewed in different 


lights, which tints are again varied by being partially rubbed off the promi- 
nences, or which have slightly settled into the depressions) produce a play 
or alternation of light and shade that, combined with hatching and stippling, 
gives a better representation of the filmy wavy air through which the eye 
penetrates into space and darkness than the mealy dusty grain of Chinese 
white even if it does not alter. Besides this, opaque white gives always an 
appearance of white mist or fog, which one is constantly wishing would be 
dispersed by a clear sun. It looks like an oil-painting that wants glazing, 
or a fresco near at hand without that peculiar transparency the chahn 
of water-colours used in the old way. We leave it for others to determine 
whether colour has greater beauty in the solid opaque condition, or when it 
is sometimes opaque and sometimes semi-transparent : the larger portion ot 
the natural landscape we consider is best represented by transparent or semi- 
opaque pigments ; and upon a careful examination of the works of all the 
best masters in the old water-colour school, including eighty of Turner's, in 
the Art-Treasures Exhibition, at Manchester, 1857, there were not more than 
eight or ten in which body colour was used aU the way through. The last 
consideration is, the use of white in the foreground, Ijdd on thick or in 
sparkling touches, tinted with varied pigments, and dragged with separated 
brush over the surface. In this use of it we most decidedly gain : we obtain 
the fulness and sparkle of convex touches, — a texture varied from the broad 
smooth stone tints laid on with the palette-knife ; the sharp, crisp, silvery 
light of the birch ; the brilliant ripple ; or a clean cutting edge against a 
decided cast shadow. With a brush thus charged, with what ease we can 
put on or recover high lights of scattered sprays or blades of grass ; and 
with the dusty drag, how may the warm opaque rays of the loaded sunbeam 
be made to strike through the boughs, or the gravelly beach be varied with 
cooler tones or grays ! Used in this solid form, and in the lights, where we 
wish for opacity, white gives great force and decision; we may even employ 
it for a vapoury mist (when charged with moisture it conceals the forms 
behind) : but let us, if we wish to keep to the real beauty and force of water- 
colour painting, confine it to such uses. 

In concluding these general observations, it is as well to remind the 
student that there are qualities in some measure peculiar to all the different 


moded of painting, of which he may avail himself in water colours ; thus, 
from the pencil or chalk he may gain decision of touch, character, and 
vigour; from oil, . strength and richness in the foreground: at the same 
time retaining all those delicate air-tones so peculiarly beautiful in the 
department of art forming the special subject of this work. 


The above general directions, indicating the mode of using water-colours by 
the modem school of painters, were considered by the author sufficient to ex- 
plain the system he thought the best, more minute explanations being attached 
to some of the plates. But he has been reminded by some of his younger 
pupils that other plates seem to require the directions, that are given by the 
master in few words, made more intelligible by his example before them. 

In this edition, therefore, he has added such explanations for studying 
each plate ; and also the answers to some of the most important questions 
that have been addressed to hinu As these have generally been made by 
intelligent pupils, anxious to learn, he must believe that the work was on 
those points deficient Should these additions appear unnecessaiy to those 
who are more advanced in art, or who have the advantage of good instruction, 
they are requested to pass them ; and having no necessity to engage in the 
labour, they will study examples from nature that will be in their case 
more suitable We will begin with notes on the working of Plate 1. 

Plate 1. — ^Amongthe numerous questions that are asked by pupils, per- 
haps there is none more difficult to answer by words or writing, and yet more 
easy to demonstrate by example, than how to lay the gradated tints in a dear 
sunset-sky, and the order in which they should be executed. The explicit 
directions so necessary to render this process clear to the b^inner become ex- 
ceedingly tedious to those who have overcome the difficulty ; as well might one 
expect a lad, after a yeart study of Euclid, to go back and trot patiently over 
the pom astnorum with a duU companion. Still, at the risk of being tedious 
to some, the author wiU attempt to explain by a diagram the mode in which 
the frontispiece of this work has been produced. It is intended to repre- 




sent a clear sunset-sky, seen &om an eminence, in a diy flat countiy, as the 
Forest of Fontainebleati To obtain that clearness and pure aerial efifect, the 
pupil must begin with more delicate pigments than yellow ochre and madder ; 
rose madder and cadmium would be better, laid on very broadly, and when 
dry washed oflf until the stain is scarcely perceptibla "When this again is dry, 
or merely damp, begin with cadmium represented in degree of strength by 
stroke No. 1 in the. diagram, commencing with a light tone on the land, and 
gradually increasing the strength from a wash prepared in a saucer, for this 
is better than taking the colour direct from the pigment ; as the brush passes 
from the vicinity of the sun, take up water and reduce the strength of the 
colour until under the blue it becomes scarcely perceptible; the tone 

wiU then be in proportion 
of the mark 1. If this is not 
regularly gradated, at not suf- 
ficiently powerful, it can be 
repeated, or when qidte dry 
washed over with pure water, 
and equalised by washing 
some portions more, scone 
lesa Then take pure water in 
your brush, and introduce the 
rose madder No. 2, increas- 
ing the strength by degrees, 
and diminishing in the same 
way as the cadmium. Should 
the tone appear too coloiuy, 
a slight wash of Venetian red 
may be necessary. The cobalt 
blue, No. 3, is introduced in 
the same way, only that it is increased in strength until it reaches the boundary 
lina Should the cadmium appear too strong or positive near the sun, and not 
quite bright enough, part may be taken off by wetting it and rubbing it with 
the painting-rag. Over this light may be put a delicate wash of Indian yellow, 
Naples yellow, or lemon yellow. Scarcely any of these sky-tones diluted. 


with the exception of the blue^ will be out of place over the landscape, 
indeed, they all tend to hannonise the whole ; bnt as the whole of the fore- 
ground and rocks are darker than the sky, some more powerfol gray is 
requisite. When, therefore, the sky is quite finished, but looking rather 
stronger in tone than it should, put a fall rich wash of indigo and brown 
madder No. 6, varied in parts with yeUow ochre or sepia, over the whole of 
the rocks, foreground, and trees in the middle distance ; this will secure a 
subdued and yet harmcmioiLS tone. Over this broad tint may be worked 
others, varying firom rich russets, made with madder, burnt sienna^ and 
yeUow ochre^ to greens composed of brown pink and indigo, or gamboge 
fiusd sepia As the foliage of the juniper is of a gray^ dusky hue, and in this 
instance has little ox no light directly on it, the pupil should mix up a tint 
in a saucer of indigo^ gamboge, and crimson lake, and try it on the maigin 
of the drawing previously ; he wDl then see if it is sufficiently strong, and 
observe whether the sky-tones are powerful enough when opposed by the 
forcible tones of the tree. Should the whole oky appear feeble, he may 
float on more colour in the following way« Turning the drawing upside 
down, he will begin (not touching the rocks, which have a firm dark colour 
on them) on the first tints of yellow with pure water, and then take up if 
necessary a little rose madder or Venetian red, keeping his brush full so 
that the wash flowa When he has added enough of these tones, he dips his 
brush in the water; and by dragging it back over the edge of his glass 
a portion of the warm colour is left behind ; and now an equal quantity of 
blue can be added, the brush being always kept full, and the whole sky 
floated with a varied wash. If the sky when dry is not nicely gradated, the 
colours being fijinly fixed on the paper, the pupil can wash the whole over 
with pure water, and then {ooceed to float on the different colours necessary 
to complete it. 

Plate 2. ThbSpsctbum.— One of the most useful practices that a pupil 
can have is to learn to gradate colours. To lay a flat tint, to gradate from 
light into dark and from dark into light, have aheady been described in the 
handling of the brush, the colour used being sepia alone. Now the student 
of colour must learn to pass from one colour or shade to another without 
difficulty or degradation ; for there exist in nature such continual changes 



or gradations, that he must also learn to change not only the depth of his 
tone, but the colour itself. The spectrum produced by the prism affords 
Tis the most perfect example for this study, and we have generally the 
opportunity of seeing it when we like ; we should therefore study it well, 
accustoming our eye to the purest and most charming example of colouring. 
To copy the spectrum, you must learn to float or blot one colour into 
another, or pass from shades to others either lighter or darker. Observe, 
to do this you must keep simple in your pigments or colours, not mixing a 
tint and then blotting that in, but taking up one pure pigment after another 
and letting them float into each other; then as the particles lie side by 
side they have more transparency. Prepare by rubbing up carefully fix)m 
cake colours the following eight pigments in different saucers, — carmine, 
orange orpiment or orange de Mttrs, cadmium, lemon yellow, emerald 
green, ultramarine or cobalt, Prussian blue, and rose madder. The tints 
you have rubbed up should be nearly the thickness of cream, having ready 
a sheet of white paper well stretched on a firame or board : if on a frame, 
you can damp it behind, and keep it damp ; if on a board, you must damp it 
after the outline is made. You must mark off on the side of the outline the 
space that each colour is supposed to occupy. You now begin with the full 
strength of the carmine at the top ; and after passing along in horizontal 
spreads, allow it to run a little down : then take up another brush filled 
with orange orpiment, pass it through the little pool of carmine, and make a 
tone of reddish orange — ^let it come a little further down the paper ; wash the 
mixture out of the brush, refilling it with the pure orpiment, not weakened 
with water, but the full strength — ^take care it goes over the whole of the 
middle portion of the orange pure : then take up another brush with the cad- 
mium ; and thus with all the colours. The great art consists in not allowing 
the pigments to float too much into each other, but just sufficient to produce 
the gradation ; a slight slope in the position of the drawing-board much assists. 
As the violet is darker than rose madder, it must be passed over Prussian 
blue or ultramarine previously laid on, or else mixed beforehand with ultra- 
marine. It is good to endeavour to keep to the exact size marked out ; but 
if it is intended to cut out the spectrum and paste it on black paper, you 
can go beyond the boundary outline. If you find this blotting-in very diffi- 


cult^ you can copy the diagram, by using a succession of bands, thus : lay 
on a Ught flat wash of the carmine a little past the whole width that the 
red should occupy ; then when dry, another, but only four-fifths of the first; 
again others, lessening in width every wasL Afterwards the edges of each 
of these washes must be melted or gradated into each other by careful 
stippling with the pure colour, but of differing degrees of strengtL 

Plate 3. — ^Besides accustoming the student to judge of the relative 
power of the primary and other colours when placed side by side, or when 
in opposition, these diagrams are useful in giving clear and distinct ideas of 
. colours ; and the practice that he has in copying them is very useful As 
in music he at first strikes each note distinctly and firmly to acquire a 
good masterly touch, so likewise should the earnest art-student take this 
important practice. Moreover he thus gains neatness and decision, and a 
thorough knowledge of what is meant when he says red, yellow, blue ; and 
beyond this, he knows which are primary, which secondary and tertiary, and 
how they are made. Should he afterwards like to become acquainted with 
these colours when weakened with water into washes, he would do well to 
make other and larger diagrams ; always, however, setting a watch on 
himseK that he does not mix pigments at random, and that he does not 
gradually become muddy and indefinite. This practice will also facilitate 
his endeavours to imitate the much more delicate and difficult tertiary tints 
he finds in nature. The pigments used have been : for the primary, carmine, 
chrome, and cobalt ; secondary, orange orpiment. Hooker's green No. 1, 
crimson lake, and French blue ; tertiary, citrine, brown pink, and Prussian 
blue, russet, crimson lake, French blue, and orange orpiment or orange de 
Mars, olive, crimson lake, French blue, and Hooker's green. In the tertiary 
tints, we must ever remember one primary must always be predominant ; 
thus yellow governs in citrine, red in russet, and blue in olive. 

Plate 4. Harmonious Aeeangement of Twenty-five of the most 
USEFUL Pigments. — The earnest and industrious student will not be sur- 
prised if asked to copy with fidelity the whole of this arrangement of pig- 
ments. K he demands, for what purpose aU this useless mechanical labour? 
he should be told, that by copying it carefully he will acquire great dex- 
terity in handling his brush ; so that he can begin and end any tint with 


precision. He will also learn to gradate colours ; to leave off at the 
boundary lines with firmness, yet without heaviness ; to do all this with the 
greatest purity of tint ; and lastly, he will become thoroughly acquainted 
with the appearance and qualities of each pigment, and with its colour in 
diluted and intense degrees, as it stands alone and as it appears when 
surrounded with others more or less differing in brilliancy and force : he 
will see the whole group as they appear, surroimded with white and then 
with gray. He wiU find a thorough acquaintance with the pigments 
he uses exceedingly valuable in his afber-progress. Few, even the most 
practised, can judge of the tint or colour of any pigment while it is in 
the powder, cake, or moist pan. Although in some of the lighter pigments 
the relative power is indicated, aU are obliged to try them with water on 
paper ; so that he is only doing what hundreds of artists are every day. 
This knowledge, once attained, will make the succeeding practices of mixing 
tints very much easier. To copy it neatly, a rule, compasses, and ruling-pen 
are used. Taking a well stretched piece of rather smooth paper, he strikes 
a very delicate perpendicular line : on this he measures the length ; this he 
divides in half by a point in the middle. He then rules another line at 
right angles to the first, and measures the exact widtL He now draws the 
lines completing the diamond form, and rubs out with great care the first 
upright and horizontal lines. He then divides each side into five; and 
when lines are drawn from these points intersecting the whole, he finds 
he has twenty-five diamond forms to fill up. For this purpose he uses 
cake-colours. He is also careful that he gets pure genuine pigments, each 
being a good type of the colour of the pigment ; for they not only differ 
prepared by different colourmen, but even from the same house at various 
times. Thus yellow ochre is sometimes dull and heavy enough for Koman 
ochre ; sometimes tinged with citrine, so as to be like raw sienna. Cad- 
mium sometimes too much resembles chrome ; it should be far more 
luminous for its strength. Eed, again, may be too yellow, too much like 
light red. Eose madder will appear pink, and very opaque and feeble. All 
these differences he will study. Having rubbed up a small quantity of 
each pigment of the same degree of consistency in saucers, he fills his 
brush with lemon yellow No. 1. As he cannot get the full strength cf the 





concentrntion of thia or any of the other examples at once, he mnst leave it 

to diy, and proceed with Jfos. 4, 5, 6, which do not touch the first ; then 

he takes the next row bat one, raising a row each time to avoid their nin- 

nii^ into each other. "When he has obtained the fall strengUL he observes 

in the examples, he proceeda to finish them, by dappling on, 

in some euch manner as this, small strokes of pure intense 

colour, until he brings the last touches to somewhat the 

appearance of the p^ment in cake ; but he most see that 

he has colour even in the darkest part, and each must be 

known and felt as very different &om black. This dappling 

has been explained in other places : it is an excellent mode 

of obtaining an increase of power without opacity, Uie eye passing through 

these little flakes or films of colour with great pleasure. 

Plate 5. Chalk-drawtng ON Tihtkd PiPEEa — ^Described in the Section 
on " Paper," p. 67. 

Plate 6. On thb Hahdlihq of thk Beush. — ^Described at the begin- 
ning of this Section. 

Plates 7 and 8. On Aerial Grays and Skies. — Described in Chapter 
IV. Section L 

Plate 9. Laee of Bbientz is another sunset ; but few directions will 
be necessary after those already given. Still, as there are lighter fleecy 
clouds of a rich orange or golden tone, relieving from the blu^ it may be as 
well to add some description of the plate, and mode of working. The first 
tints are nearly the same ; yellow ochie or cadmium with rose madder, 
slight washes of gamboge near the sun, but not passing at all into the blue 
or the distance. Venetian red and vermilion in very small quantities have 
now to be introduced ; and the water is principally warmed with washes of 
raw sienna. The student should be aware that Uie rich golden colour of the 
clouds is not passed over the whole of the sky, and afterwards cooled by the 
blue The warm parts of the sky are left much cooler than they would be 
when finished ; they are then touched on the side opposite to the sun, or 
their shadowed side, with a warm gray, made with the blue that remains in 
the brush and a little Venetian red or crimson lake. If this is done while 
the blue is damp, the edge of the cloud melts away into the blue without any 


perceptible form, and produces a very natural effect The brush is now 
washed well out, and the light side of the clouds is subdued with small 
portions of pure warm colour, as cadmium, rose madder, &c. The purply 
gray of the dark moimtain is now put in with a full brush, and the tint 
may be carried without reserve over the portions of the near mountain that 
are in shadow, and over the principal part of the group of trees, shed, &c., 
in shadow. As a rule, however bright the sun may be, the shadowed side 
of objects projected on it should in a great degree lose their local colour, 
and either become neutral, or have a little of the compensating colour in 
addition. Thus, if the sunset is yellow, the trees should incline to purple ; 
if orange, to blue ; if crimson, to a deep green. The tree, however, in the 
foreground, may have more of the natural warm colour given to it ; for 
being near, and the foliage more separated, the warm light may be sent 
through the leaves, and become yet warmer with the rich colour of the 
autumnal green. 

Those correspondents who have addressed the author on certain difficul- 
ties, wiU find their questions answered in the following notes : 

Question 1. — " When desired to sketch a view in which the only visible colours 
are cool green, blue, and gray, how may they be used or arranged so as to form a 
cheerful picture 1 " 

This question is, we think, answered in Chapter I. Section ILL, " On the Har- 
mony and Natural Contrast of Colour," where the powerful effect of a predominating 
light IB described ; but as a further illustration of this subject^ we may instance 
many a cheerful -Swiss mouBtain-ecene, which, on a careful examination, wiU be 
found to consist entirely of cool green or gray, with a blue sky overhead and snow- 
clad mountains in the distance, with Uttle or no vapour or mist to disgmso or blend 
the colours. Our first object on sitting down to such a scene should be to ascer- 
tain whether the effect be really warm ; for cheerfulness may exist with a very 
slight degree of warmth. Suppose a bright morning effect, the green trees and 
gray rocks flooded with hght — ^tlus will make them appear to lose some portion of 
their positive colour, and, by clear cast shadows, may be made to look cheerful 
The great charm of such a landscape will be principally in the warm, deUcate, aerial 
effects in the different distances ; while fleecy clouds, breaking up the blue, partially 
hiding the snowy smumits of the mountains, and passing in and among the fir-clad 
lower range, will give harmony to the whole. One or even two of the three colours 
named will doubtless be subdued ; for to have all three equal in depth and intensity 


would not be harmonious But even in such a landscape as the one just described, 
or a wild moorland scene in Scotland, consisting almost entirely of these cool 
tones, a small portion of bright and cheerful colouring in the foreground, as a group 
of figures, in warm and harmonious colours, suffices to give to the whole an impres- 
sion of cheerfulness and even warmth. If it be possible to choose the time of day, 
— to take, for instance, sunrise or sunset, and have warm rays of sunlight, of some 
predominating colour, thrown across the whole picture, — it will at once be seen how 
the cooled local tints may be converted into rich and glowing colours. Care, how- 
ever, must be taken, in depicting landscapes of countries where the general tone of 
•colouring is cool, as in Norway, Switzerland, or Scotland, that we do not lose the 
truthfulness of nature, and, by too great an avoidance of cool colours for those that 
are doubtless more agreeable, become monotonous. Great beauty exists in cool 
colours ; and certain kinds of neutral gray are so refreshing to the eye, that they 
are chosen to set off and enhance all other tones. 

Question 2. — ** In what position is it proper to introduce pure primaries ? also 
white and black." 

For the consideration of this important question, as far as regards historical and 
figure subjects, our correspondent is referred to the words of Sir Joshua Eeynolds, 
Burnett, &c., as far better authorities ; we confine ourselves to its relation to land- 
scapes. Pure primaries are very rare in landscapes (vide Chap. I. Sec. II.), being 
chiefly reserved for the sky and figures. The great mass of blue in the sky, if 
managed with care and delicacy, does not attract more than its proper share of 
attention ; but a small quantity of a primary, or of two or more, harmoniously 
arranged, produces a brilliant effect ; and their value is of course greatly enhanced 
by the judicious introduction of black and white near the eye. Even in this case 
we believe it to be the rule, that one of the two, or two of the three, should be 
reduced in importance, either by subduing it or them in intensity or quantity. It 
is scarcely necessary to add, that black must be strictly confined to the immediate 

Question 3. — "Is it proper in any case to bring a primary into immediate 
contact with its complement V* 

When it is the desire of the artist to give the greatest possible effect to the 
colours, they may very well be placed in juxtaposition ; we have then the additional 
power of the complementary colour, not perhaps so distinguishable as it is in the 
large diagrams at the end of the volume, but still giving more effect to the pri- 
mitive colour. This abo occurs, though in a less striking degree, when a tertiary 
and complementary tint are placed in juxtaposition in the middle or extreme dis- 
tance, as when a yellow-toned corn-field is contrasted with a purple distance, or a 
newly-ploughed and red-toned field with green of various tones. 


Question 4. — ^ What is the colour of shadow) is it gray, or a deepening of local 
colour 1 or is it complementary 1 Is it influenced by the colour of the light by which 
it is cast^ and the time of day V 

Colour is not distinguishable in darkness; it requires a difEused daylight to 
bring it out in all its force. Shadow must, therefore, be represented by more 
neutral tones than the natural colour of the object A deepening of the local 
colour is npt sufficient to produce this neutrality or repose ; the mere deepening 
or strengthening the colour of a sand-bank (p. 30) would not suffice to represent 
the d^ree of neutrality as well as balance that there is in shadow. There is a sort 
of reaction in the yisual organ after strong excitement ; yet we must not yield to* 
this too much, and proceed to the other extreme by the immediate employment of 
the complementary tint without any regard to the natural or local colour ; neither 
will it do to use a perfectly neutral gray or subdued black, such as is produced by 
chalk or charcoaL No-— it must have a compensatory effect, and yet contain a suf- 
ficient amount of the natural colour to unite the two. To make the whole effect 
depend on the mere complementary colour produced by the retina, would be to 
ascribe too much power to this cause ; to ignore the effect entirely would be to lose 
many additional charms. The colour of the shadowed part of an orange is a diffe- 
rent tone to its cast shadow on gray paper ; the orange tone is not all lost, but its 
degree depends on the brilliancy of the sunlight. The shadow of a rosy cheek is 
often slightly greenish, owing to the complementary effect; but there are other 
causes that influence this delicate study. ' These are, the gloss or oily smoothness 
of the skin ; the almost imperceptible down with which it is covered, but which 
produces a grayish tint ; and the semi-transparency of the surface skin, showing the 
light through, as well as the blue veins, whether in light or shade. This effect of 
transparency or transmitted light has considerable power, as may be proved by 
tearing an orange in half, and looking at the pulp in shadow and in light — ^the 
deepest colour will still be deepened and grayed orange or crimson. The same 
with the shadow between the petals of a rose, or between rosy fingers, which no 
one would think of painting green. The colour of shadow must therefore be 
influenced by the part in light and the colour it assumes ; and as the time of day 
has a decided effect on the colour of lights this also must be considered. It has 
been explained that the colour of shadow is affected by the local colour on which 
it falls ; and to understand this better, suppose we examine a mass of gray rock 
in sunshine, lying on a rich-coloured gravelly beach, we find the cast-shadow on 
the warm beach much warmer than the simple shade, with the strong reflection of 
the colour of the beach added to and overpowering the natural tone of the rock, 
while the cast-shadow is not acted upon by a return of such colour, but has only 
the side of the gray rock to reflect a small quantity of cool light on it ; it is also 
placed in such a position that it reflects the cooler tints of the sky or clouds. The 
shaded part and cast-shadow of a similar mass of rock, lying on another instead of 


the glowing beach^ will be yisibly cooler; so that it will be evident that the ocdoois 
of shadows are haid to define, being influenced by a great variety of circamstances. 
Let us carefoUy notice all the circumstances affecting the cobur of the subject we 
are drawing. If we can understand them, so much the better ; if not, nature must 
stUl be copied as closely as possible. All we can say is, that the colours in shadow 
are neutralised, and that if the colours of the object are strong and in sunlight, we 
must indicate their compensating ooloura Doubtless reflections aie very service- 
able in blending and harmonising strong colours. 

Question 5. — *^ In what part of any olgeot of nniform colour is the colour 
nohestf nearest to the light or to the shade %^ 

If the object be uniform in shape as well as in colour, t. e. if it be a plane flat 
sur&ce, the tone will appear brightest when it comes in contrast with the darkest 
and most complementary colour in the background ; but if it be a rounded surface, 
the colour wiU appear deepest and richest as it merges into the tones of the shade : 
and in this case, in or near the highest light it becomes powerless and nearly white ; 
and in the shade^ powerless as regards colour from alteration of tone and comple- 
mentary effects. 

Question 6.— «'' What is the difference between shade and shadow V^ 

Artists consider that to be shade which is not in light, but shadow is projected 
shade or cast-shadow. There is, however, much looseness in these terms, shade being 
often used for the shadow of an object, as ^ sitting in the shade of the beech-tree." 
Much of the feebleness of ideas of nature and art is derived from the obscurity of 
the terms employed by careless writers. For instance, take our old friend iEsop, 
who is made to say, ^A dog passing over a brook, with a piece of meat in his 
mouth, saw his shadow in the water," meaning, saw his reflection; his shadow cast 
along the sur&ce could not surely have troubled him. 

Question 7. — " How may one give the effect of a bright colour at a distance 1 


As all coloured objects lose in power at a distance more than our pigments do 
when placed on a canvas at the same distance from our eye, the effect must be 
given by comparative power and lightness. However bright or strong the colour 
you wish to represent may appear, it would not be advisable to use the same pig- 
ments in the distance that you do in the foreground. K we take gamboge^ Indian 
yellow, or Vandyke brown, — colours or pigments all truly representing objects close 
at hand, — ^merely adding water to these and rendering them weaker will not suffice ; 
we must alter the colour, either by adding some other pigment to it^ to render it 
grayer and more aerial, or by substituting another pigment for it of the colour that 


the objectionable one would appear at that distance fix)to the eye. These may still 
be made to appear as bright as they could naturally be; and to do more would only 
make the picture appear tricky and artificial 

Question 8. — " How may colours be arranged so as neither to look dingy nor 
conspicuous as positive colours?" 

First, As regards the colour of our pigments, to prevent their looking dingy. 
Pay attention to the mode of working. Do not mix more at a time than is neces- 
saiy : at every additional mixture clearness is lost. Avoid using pigments that have 
a tendency in an opposite direction to the tone you want. Be careful not to lay 
wash over wash without meaning ; for the effect will certainly be muddy neutrality. 
Turner is said to have produced some of his most pearly and aerial effects by laying 
the three primitives in washes one over the other. In this practice much of the 
purity of the tone would depend upon each of the pigments being true ; for if the 
blue, for instance, had a tendency to yellow, or to reflect the yellow rays, and the 
red the same, confusion or muddLuess must necessarily arise. One colour or tint 
may also cause another to look dingy, even when it is by itself pure and good : 
thus two reds, rather differing in strength, but of the same quality as to tone, will 
render each other dingy — they should be strikingly different as to strength to give 
each other effect ; the same with greens. By want of care or thought in placing 
colours, or in selecting those that are before us, we often render our landscape dull 
and ineffective. To escape dinginess, lose the light of the paper as little as pos- 
sible. Avoid the use of opaque colours one over the other. Beware of mixing 
blue, yellow, and red pigments in the same wash, as these will not, like the blue, 
yellow, and red rays of the prism, tend to produce white, but muddy gray. There 
is a little philosophical toy of a wheel having these colours painted on it, which is 
made to revolve with great rapidity. Some, thinking these colours are the same 
as the coloured rays of light divided by the prism, have positively asserted that 
it made white light, — an utter impossibility for coloured pigments to accomplish : 
they only mix together in the eye, and produce gray. But enough has been said 
on this subject in Chapter I. Section I. 

To prevent any one colour from becoming conspicuous, it must be harmonised 
into others by gradation, and not be too violently contrasted by complementaries 
or inharmonious tints. A colour out of harmony may be quite as conspicuous, if 
not more, than one contrasted with its complementary, only the effect will be dis- 
agreeable instead of agreeable. A colour becomes conspicuous when it is decidedly 
unnatural or out of place, as blue on trees, or pink on walls. So in the human 
face, the same amount of colour which placed on a lip is scarcely noticed, if 
removed to the nose becomes strikingly conspicuous. A single spot of colour in 
a landscape may often appear too prominently unless repeated by other smaller and 
more broken portions. 


Question 9. — " How can I get more effect and variety of colour in my sketches, 
such as one sees in those of artists f' 

It appears, by a general review of your sketches, that you have been studying 
too much from small lane and close scenes, and under trees ; such spots are very 
tempting^ as they are cool and retired. You have laboured with great care to 
make pictures in circumstances that require much art and knowledge. The small, 
niggling copying of different shades of greens, with varying reflecting surfaces, is 
not what you want for the study of colour ; nor are all these close studies produc- 
tive of breadth and variety. First, for effect, change the time of your studying : 
instead of going out about nine or ten, and remaining out till five or six, go out 
when the sun rises, or soon after ; see the delicate pearly^ mists and grays of the 
morning, and the various colours that light up the clouds ; and note the shadows 
as they retire from the rising sun. Keep in-doors all the middle of the day in 
summer ; occupy yourself with something else, — read, write, or dine ; but be sure 
to be out and at a favourable spot about three hours in the evening, when the 
shadows are lengthening, and try to study and catch the glorious beauties of the 
setting sun. These are the times for you to see the most variety. Avoid shutting 
yourself up too much in broken weather ; go out with your note-book in showery 
and stormy seasons ; look up at the sky more, and less on the grass. K you can 
change your locality, go where you can see different distances and broken ground, 
mountains and rocks, and mark the effect of the passing shadows on them ; then 
drop the minute study of delicate spots of colour, and try for breadth of different 
tints, — the purple tints of the heather-mountain in shadow against the rich yellow 
beach or gravel of the foreground. Blot it in ; if not pure and clear, blot it in again 
with different pigments : these studies will be the most useful and improving. 

Question 10. — *'Is any colour more particularly to be avoided than another?" 

Every colour, as well as thing, is good and useful in its right place ; it is only 
the excess that is disagreeable or hurtfuL Some sooner appear unnatural or stronger 
than others. Kuskin says, "purple is vicious;" another, Indian yellow; another, 
brown madder. A constant recurrence to any one favourite pigment or tint for 
effect is apt to beget mannerism ; it then becomes worse than useless, it injures 
instead of improving^ like the oaths formerly so prevalent in conversation. 

Question 11. — "Is it right to paint water as blue as the sky reflected in it ? 
Are reflections of objects in water ever as bright as the objects themselves 1 Are 
reflections the same size and form as the objects V* 

The strength of every colour, as well as light, is greatly subdued by reflection ; 
the blue of the sky, therefore, will be generally altered by a loss of power, as well as 
by the additional colour of the water ; for we may look some way into water, and 


it is larelj without some odour slightly di£fering fix)m the object reflected. On the 
extreme summit of the ripple this will not appear ; but when the light comes 
through the shady side it is coloured, or when the water is shallow and the colour 
of the bottom is reflected through it. If the reflection be at the same distance 
from the spectator as the object, it will appear the same size ; but if the position 
of the spectator be such that all the object can be seen and only a portion of the 
reflection, as when the spectator is placed high aboye the reflecting surfisu^ like 
the view &om the Eighi where the base of the mountain is all hidden, of course 
the object will appear only partially reflected. But if you are painting a portrait 
of a Mend and his reflection in a looking-glass, the life and the reflection being 
the same distance from you, then the size should be the same : if the reflection is 
furthest o£^ it must be diminished in the regular proportion ; but the colours in 
the reflection will be much feebler, and perhaps influenced by the local tone of 
the mirror or reflecting powers whatever that may be. There is one simple fact 
about reflections that the young artist should always bear in mind. When a per- 
pendicular object is reflected in a glass hanging at an angle fix)m the wall, say an 
angle of 10^, then the reflection will be at an angle of 20^, for the angle is always 
doubled ; the surface of the glass is 10^^ but the reflection is 20^ This will make 
an apparent incongruity between the two forms : but any one who looks with care 
into these things will observe the truth ; and one great truth like this is much 
better than a great many little truths of minor importance. 

Question 12^^''Why do artists so often introduce into their pictures the red 
cloak and blue kerdbief so prevalent in many of the rustic districts of England 1" 

Every one has heard of the good effect of a little bit oi red contrasted with a 
large quantity of green. It is, in fsict, so well known, and so much used, that it is 
not advisable to employ it too often. Blue, as a piece of positivo colour, gives 
force and life to a picture, and serves to repeat the blue of the sky or distance. 
Of the twOf red would appear conspicuous the longest in the distance ; the blue 
contrasted with the warmer tones of the foreground might be made the most 

Question IS. — *^ How shall I avoid the crudeness and want of harmony which 
characterise my most careful studies fix)m nature V* 

Do not be too anxious to soften or tone down these asperities^ they are &ults on 
the right side ; these studios are promising, much more so than tiie ddicate, softened 
copies that formerly gave so much pleasure to your frienda Ton are now trying 
for exactness and truth in colouring; for purity and variety of tints. Ab you copy 
each tint in turn from nature, you will no doubt make each too positive, and they 
will have a harsh, overbearing character. Persevere, one wiQ correct another ; but 


if you would wish to see how soon pure mixtures of well-arranged tints are 
blended and harmonised, take a large sable brush and water, and b^innmg with 
the sky, wash it all oyer, taking out the hard edges and spots. Let the wash, if 
dear and pure, float over the distance, and thus it will become more united and 
aenaL Continue the washing, so that the crude greens are subdued ; float on a 
little pure gray, and in the middle distance a good breadth of warm gray, of brown 
madder, and indigo. Stop there at the broken line of the foreground, and when it 
has dried you wiU find your sketch is put together ; in &ct, it is all in harmony, 
and yet powerful 

Qitestion 14. — "How is it that, in trying to get true and vigorous colour in 
my studies from nature, I always lose not only the light and shade of each object, 
but the general effect of the whole V 

You do not yet seem to comprehend that the colour of any object is subordinate 
to lighl^ — ^by light I mean clear sunlight If you could thoroughly understand 
and see this great truth, you would ever afterwards give to each its just value in 
your pictures. To convince yourself take a piece of black cloth or silk that is 
not glossy, and a white sheet of cardboard glued on to a miUboard so as to make 
it perfectly opaque ; put the black doth in the sun, stand the cardboard upright on 
it, so as to obtain a good effect of it in shade, and a determined cast-shadow on the 
cloth. Now copy the wholes with conscientious adherence to the truth, as you 
see it The cloth in the sun wiU be nearly white, or a very slight gray, the board 
very much darker, but the shadow on the cloth the extreme depth. Always keep 
in mind that you have but a limited power to represent light. Our pigments are 
as bright as the objects themsdves ; but when we represent light with white, we 
£U1 inflnitdy short of the red effect Again, if we paint black doth black in sun- 
light, what do we reserve of power for it in common daylight or in cast-shadow ) 
Think of this, and paint your locd odours as you actually see them, and not as 
you know them to be in other situations. Use them as Polonius intended to use 
the players, as they deserve ; but keep them in their proper place. Your next 
study should be a few good red bricks, in different positions and lights. If you 
can group them amongst some burdock or rhubarb leaves, you will have an oppor- 
tunity of seeing and studying sunlight on red and green surfaces without any 
glossy and with a certain degree of reflective power ; you wiU also see the effect 
of reflection in modifying and harmonising colour. When you afterwards paint the 
trees and rocks you find in nature, you will certainly be more truthful for these 
studies. There is yet another reason why your foreground studies of foliage 
i^pear so heavy and positive in colour : light of a cool retiring character is not 
so attractive to the eye as rich warm colour in shade ; the colour is so pleasing 
that the eye loves to rest upon it in preference to the cool gray light For 
example, the leaves of a vine on which I now look have great reflective power, 


and though in light, should he painted, not green, hut a gray hlue ; while tho8e in 
shadow, through which the sun partially shines, are a heautiful green, and, owing 
to their colour, attract the eye more than those in light : hut as colour is in most 
instances turned into light and shade hy the photograph, we must examine this 
suhject copied in this way, and we shall then see the lights will be exceedingly 
prominent. We have in reality to go through a very careful course in our first 
studies from nature. No artist, not even Turner, could reckon the just value of 
every light, shade, or colour he saw in nature at his first attempts. It is so utterly 
impossible to imitate light, that we have the greatest difficulty in adjusting our 
scale to our diminished power. If we are too sensitive to any loss of light, we are 
in danger of becoming feeble; if we are too eager to gain force, we are led 
unawares into blackness. 

Question 15. — "In the last study of trees you made before me, I observed you 
did not use such a simple mode as you have hitherto recommended. May I ask 

I will tell you with pleasure ; for you are weU aware I have no secrets : indeed 
there ought to be no reserve in such matters between master and pupil, excepting 
such as is positively for the benefit of the learner. Every one, on first attempting 
the study of any art, must try and acquire the most simple method, learn to do 
things in a firm and decided manner, and must therefore adopt those processes not 
perhaps the most effective, but where there is the least chance of failure. If the 
difficulties are all presented to pupils at once, and they fail at first to overcome 
them, as most likely they will, then they are so discouraged that they never have 
the resolution to begin in the slow careful way again. I advised you to lay a broad 
flat tint of green on the tree, attending only to the outline edge, and then another 
of a different shade for the shadow. In the first attempts you had quite enough 
to do to keep the general form, the purity, flatness, and same strength of the tint. 
In the shadow, you had the additional difficulty of leaving the lights convex, in 
fact^ of keeping the lights always in your eye at the expense of the shadows. Until 
you had acquired this power, it would have been of no use to tell you you might 
blot-in your colour more freely ; that in the highest lights you might use the colour 
a little cooler ; in the shadows you might take up more indefinite greens with much 
more power, melting or running one colour into another ; or that the whole tone of 
the lower part of the trees might be cooler and deeper, — that here you might take 
a little more yellow, more red, or a different blue. All this, told you at the begin- 
ning, would only have confused you. Having so many things to attend to, it would 
only have ended in a sad muddy shapeless blot. But now you can manage your 
brush, and lay tints flat or gradated. Knowing well the nature .of the different 
pigments you use, I wish you to do it as I did ; and if you do not succeed the first 
time, try again imtil you do. 


QtLesHonlQ. — "How is it that my studies, made with far more attention and 
labour than formerly, with fax greater knowledge of nature and the art of using 
my materialB, do not either please myself or my Mends as much as my earlier 
sketches 1 " 

Place your sketches made ten years ago side by side with those you have just 
completed ; compare them well ; look at them if you can with the eye of a stranger. 
Do you not perceiye the amazing difiference ? There is no life, no reality, no soul 
in the last^ laboured though they be; they are veritable landscape Frankensteins ; 
all the higher qualities are wanting, but all the lower and earthly are brought 
prominently forward. Now, turn to the first Here they are slovenly in drawing, not 
always correct in light and shade, and very often false in colour. But how widely 
different ! You were young in life and art then, full of feeling, quick to seize ideaa, 
rapid in execution, not overburdened with knowledge and rules ; you walked with 
nature like a child, and represented her in as simple a manner. ^Nevertheless, don't 
be discouraged. Let us examine what has led to this great change in ten year& 
In that time photography and the Pre-£aphaelite school have sprung up ; and from 
the profusion of minute studies of nature thus always before the eye, every one has 
been led to demand more careful and truthful work jn artists' drawings. This the 
Pre-Eaphaelite school has endeavoured to meet by increased labour. The result 
is evident all over the walls of the Exhibition. But this is not all ; photography 
tends to discourage, as well as to advance Art. When two young amateurs go 
out to study nature together, one of whom uses the machine, the other his brush 
and colours, we can easily see that he who can produce five or six finished and 
truthful studies will at the end of the day think, and without fail say, that his 
Mend, who has not yet completed his first study, is decidedly slow. We, how- 
ever, think that a careful study, with all the beauty of colour, light and shade, 
and a selection of form, is far more agreeable than that in which a multiplicity 
of detail alone is given. Hear on this subject the opinion of a clever writer 
in the Qitarterlf/y No. 202, which we here quote : " It is obvious that, however 
successful photography may be in the closest imitation of light and shadow, it 
foils, and must fail, in the rendering of true chiaroscuro, or the true imitation of 
light and dark. And even if the world we inhabit^ instead of being spread out 
with every variety of the palette, were constituted but of two colours, — ^black and 
white, and all their intermediate grades, — if every figure were seen in monochrome, 
like those that visited the perturbed vision of the Berlin Nicolai, — photography 
could still not copy them correctly. Nature, we must remember, is not made up 
only of actual lights and shadows : besides these more elementary masses, she 
possesses innumerable reflected lights and half-tones, which play around every 
object, rounding the hardest edges, and illuminating the blackest breadths, and 
making them sunshine in a shady place, which it is the delight of the practised 
painter to render. But of all these photography gives comparatively no account, 



The heavrideal of a Turner and the delight of a Eubens are catfiar to her. Her 
strong shadows swallow up all timid lights within them, as her blazing lights obli- 
terate all intrusive half-tones across them ; and thus strong contrasts are produced, 
which, so far from being true to nature, it seems one of nature's most beautiM 
provisions to prevent Again, speaking of the inferiority of the face to the dress 
of figures, the writer remarks ; '* The first principle in Art^ is, that the most impor- 
tant part of a picture should be best done. Here, on the contrary, while the 
dress has been rendered worthy of a fashion-book, the face has remained, if not 
80 unfinished as before, yet more unfinished in proportion to the rest" There are 
also far higher qualities required to make fine works of Art than the most successful 
photographer can supply ; and even could the photographer render the colours as 
well as the light and shade of nature, could he at all compete in the production of 
real works of Art, which must be the result of the mind, and not of the skilful 
manipulator alone ) But these ideas are much more powerfully expressed by a 
great student and lover of nature, who uses not only photography and his pencil, 
but his pen, to paint the beauties that he sees. In Two Years Ago^ Mr. Kingsley 
makes an artist say, in answer to a friend : 

" Not paint what is there 1 And you are the man who talks of Art being 
highest when it copies nature." 

** Exactly. And therefore you must paint, not what is there, but what you see 
there. They forget that human beings are men with two eyes, and not daguerreo- 
type lenses with one eye ; and so are contriving and striving to introduce into their 
pictures the very defect of the daguerreotype which the stereoscope is required ta 

" I comprehend. They forget that the double vision of our two eyes gives a 
softness and indistinctness and roundness to every outline." 

''Exactly so; and therefore, whiLe for distant landscapes, motionless, and 
already softened by atmosphere^ the daguerreoiype is invaluable (I shall do nothing 
else this summer but work at it) ; yet for taking portraits, in any true sense, it 
will be always useless, not only for the reason I just gave, but for another one 
which the Pre-Kaphaelites have forgotten." 

" Because all the features cannot be on focus at once ? " 

" 0, no ; I am not speaking of that Art^ for aught I know, may overcome 
that ; for it is a mere defect in the instrument What I mean is this : it tries to 
represent as still what never yet was still for the thousandth part of a second — 
that is, a human face ; and as seen by a spectator who is perfectly still, which no 
man ever yet was. My dear fellow, don't you see that what some painters call 
idealising a portrait is, if it be wisely done, really painting for you the face which 
you see, and know, and love ? — ^her ever-shifting features, with expression varying 
more rapidly than the gleam of the diamond on her finger, — features which you, in 
your turn, are looking at with ever-shifting eyes ; while, perhaps, if it is a face 


which you love and have lingered over, a dozen other expressions equally belonging 
to it are lingering in your memory, and blending themselves with the actual 
picture on your retina : till every little angle is somewhat rounded, every little 
wrinkle somewhat softened, every little shade somewhat blended with the surround- 
ing light, so that the sum total of what you see, and are intended by Heaven to see, 
is something fer softer, lovelier, — ^younger, perhaps, thank Heaven ! — than it would 
look if your head was screwed down in a vice, to look with one eye at her head 
screwed down in a vice also ? — ^though even that, thanks to the muscles of the eye, 
would not produce the required ugliness ; and the only possible method of fulfilling 
the Pre-Raphaelite idea would be, to set a petrified Cyclops to paint his petrified 

Having thus pointed out the too great reliance on photography, — ^for it is not 
only now made to furnish studies to refresh the artist's eye or aid his memory, but 
it is supposed to take the form and arrangement of the subject better from nature, 
while he humbly tints in the colour, — we will observe what eflfect this straining to 
compete in these details with photography has produced on your studies. That 
we are almost all naturally idle, is quite true ; to think strongly and deeply fatigues 
us, especially as we advance in life — we search for somebody or something to 
relieve us : now this photography appears to do but does not You must therefore 
endeavoxir to return to the feeling and respect for the higher qualities in nature 
that you had when you first studied. 

Question 17. . " How is it that I, who see so much of the finest Nature and Art, 
who have read bo much on Art, and have had lessons from so many excellent 
masters, do not improve at all ; my sketches being no more like pictures than 
when I first began ) " 

A question of so much importance requires great consideration ; but as we 
have agreed to allow truth to be our guide, we must consider, in the first place, 
whether you are not mistaken when you speak of studying Nature and Art, You 
travel over too much fine scenery to study nature carefully, and with companions 
who either do not sketch, or who sketch as hastily as yourseK : this will not lead 
to improvement You see too many pictures to examine Art with profit^ the faults 
and not the beauties of which attract your first attention ; this, with the help of 
clever critics^ can be done with the greatest facility, and makes you dissatisfied 
with them as well as yoursel£ You also skim too many works on Art ; have too 
much apparent knowledge of principles and rules which you cannot apply. All 
this makes you doubt the genuine power of Art One guide, in whom you have 
confidence, with one or too good works at a time, would be far better. Xt is a 
common idea that the whole province of Art is to deceive ; on the contrary, Art 
has to represent that which words cannot do so welL What words can fully 
express or convey a distinct conception of colour, or even of the simplest form ? 

L 2 


Endeavour, therefore, to gain more simple and noble ideas of our branch of Art, 
which is to give clear and truthful representations of nature as it appears to those 
who have the power of seeing it at a glance, at one moment of time, under the 
most favourable influences. This power, possessed but by few, m&y be compared, 
although apparently so diflbrent, to that of the eagle-eye of a great general, whb, by 
a glance at the fleld of battle, takes in not only what is at the moment before him^ 
but what will happen in the course of the eventful day. Our Shakespeare had the 
high quality of knowing and feeling how each of his characters would act under 
any circumstances. A great artist is one who, in like manner, knows how the 
landscape will appear under varied effects : he thinks no trouble too great, no hill 
too steep or high to cHmb ; difficulties to be surmounted only increase his ardour. 
You also must discard laborious idleness, and avoid using your hands while your 
head is idle. Think all the higher thoughts of your subject right out, keeping the 
leading idea always in sight ; this will prevent your attention being directed to 
minor considerations. For example, if you are careful and anxious about the 
quality and texture of a piece of rock, or the freedom of the touch of a tree, when 
you ought to be making the general effect predominant^ you will fall into littlenesses. 
If you are patience itself in stippling up accessories and background when truth 
of drawing or sentiment is wanting, your apparent industry will be thrown away. 
What do physicians think of a patient who reads all the medical books he can find, 
who is always talking about diseases and his own ailments, and yet never thoroughly 
follows the advice of his doctor ? You must change all these cursory habits, must 
see less, talk less, and work more ; you must have the courage to dive below, not 
skim the surface, or you never will improve, but always continue merely a clever 
amateur, but no artist There is not so much intricate art in the greatest artists as 
you imagine ; their best works are simple, forcible expressions of a determined wilL 
As a useful discipline, take a group of still life, composed of a Portugal onion- 
basket, pans, bottles, &c, on matting ; and having arranged a picturesque group, 
good iu form, light and shade, and colour, place it in the sun in your garden, 
keeping yourself in shade. Work at this steadily two or three hours of a 
morning for a fortnight^ and then see the result; you will then discover the 
improvement you have made. 

Answers to other Questions have been merged in the additional matter 
given in each Section of the Work. 


The terms ' space ' and ' air ' being in art synonymous with ' sky/ we 
must begin by inquiring what are to the artist the most important qualities 
of the atmosphere which surrounds the earth. On looking up to the zenith 
when the air is free from aqueous vapour, we are conscious of a perfectly 
transparent ether, through which the eye appears to penetrate unbounded 
spaxja This space, viewed from the summits of mountains or other situ- 
ations where there are no mists, appears distinctly of dark blue ; yet so 
immeasurably does this colour differ from any pigment with which we 
attempt its imitation, that the latter can scarcely be deemed the same 
colour. This arises from the fact that the former is not a flat tangible 
surface, but, on the contrary, a quivering transparent medium, whether 
coloured itself or only imparting colour we cannot here inquire, but the 
character of which it should be our aim to represent as perfectly distinct 
from that of any object on the eartL 

To accomplish this in any degree, it will be necessary to dismiss from 
our minds all idea of the sky being a blue vault, requiring merely a 
pigment of like colour to represent it. Air itself is invisible, and its usual 
appearance is derived from the vapours difPiised through it ; a fact which 
may be proved by looking upwards fix)m some lofty position through a pure 
atmosphere, when we shall perceive the space above us to be far darker in 
iue than when seen from the usual level of the earth. In our endeavours 
to imitate space, we are greatly assisted by the circumstance of the clouds 
and mists which float over the landscape having a tendency to blend earth 
and sky in harmonious union ; in the same manner that water is united in 
appearance to the earth or rocks over which it flows, the water forming a 
medium of different degrees of transparency, through which the variously 
modified colours, shades, and tints pass in their passage to the eye. Both 
air and water alter the colour of objects seen through them ; and as they 
are associated in the atmosphere, they are especially capable of showing an 
infinite variety of the brilliant colours produced by light Clouds must be 
considered as inseparably related to what is called the sky in which they 
float. In it they are formed, and whilst in it dissolve away : consequently, 
they must not be separated by painting the one as a solid mass of blue, to 
represent the distant sky, and the other as solid masses of gray and white, 


much nearer to the earth than the blue ; but the whole must partake largely 
of the quality of air and space. Such a result may be produced by, at one 
tune allowing light to penetrate into and through the substance of the 
clouds ; at another, by representing them of such opacity as to catch and 
reflect laige quantities of light. Now as vapour viewed from various posi- 
tions varies in its powers of displaying light and colour, we have in clouds 
many opportunities of either increasing or diminishing the light of the 
picture, while at the same time we vary the colour. 

Happily for those who use water-colours, this important portion of the 
labours of the artist is, by the medium employed, rendered much less diffi- 
cult of execution to them than to the painter in oil ; as they can with 
comparative ease gain the effect of air and distanca Indeed, we have in our 
modem water-colour paintings many works far superior in these qualities 
to any pictures bequeathed to us by the most celebrated of the old masters. 

Before commencing the artistic study of clouds, the student woidd 
do well to examine the causes regulating their appearance ; for the latter 
are by no means fitfiil or irregular, but, on the contrary, nature here 
as elsewhere is true to herself and obedient to immutable laws. To avoid 
making any serious mistake, or iutroducing clouds into pictures at times 
and in situations when and where they could not possibly appear, the 
different varieties should be classified ; for which purpose, the mind, whilst 
viewing them in nature, should be directed to their connection with the 
other circumstances of the time or season, so that pictorial incongruities 
may be avoided. In our observations of clouds and sky, we may often take 
a hint from the experience of country-people, who, though ignorant of the 
practice of art, are often accurate observers, and, from their out-door life, 
have abundant opportunities of studying the changing effects of nature. 

Although there is more expanse of sky visible from a plain than 
a valley, clouds are seen to greater advantage in a mountaruous country ; 
the difference of elevation affects their forms, and the consequent changes of 
light produce a variety which is ui union with the scene depicted. Crags 
and trees give many occasions of marking both the features of the country 
and the nature of the aerial effects which such scenes produce. 

Clouds, as usually classed, are in accordance with the heights at which 


they appear. Thus at the greatest elevation is the cirrus, a light filmy 
cloud appearing in serene weather. The cumulus, or heaped cloud, 
comes next in order; it has a rounded, well-defined shape above, and 
is moderately flat below: this description of cloud is generally visible 
in the afternoon, and presents many very beautiful forms and colours 
towards sunset, when it disappears. When occurring alone, this cloud 
generally accompanies fair weather, and, from its density, casts very 
refreshing shadows on the earth ; but when united with the stratus more 
frequently indicates rain. The stratus, or third kind of cloud, appears as a 
low flat mist, often formed by the sinking of masses of vapour in the 

To these may be added the cirro-cumulus, forming a very beautiful 
appearance, sometimes ccdled mackerel sky; and also the smcdl ragged 
clouds occasionally seen sailing through the air, which are called scud. 
They indicate rain; arid may be either light or dark, according to the 
amount of light they receive from the sun. Whenever clouds are depicted, 
their character should be in strict conformity, not only to the season of the 
year, but also to the hour of the day ; nothing can give the artist this 
knowledge but a close observance of nature, and a constant and careful 
copying of the atmospheric effects presented to his view. 

In Constable's journal of his practice, there is continual recurrence to 
what he called his "going out skying," showing how much importance he 
attached to that portion of an artist's studies. By such earnest study, 
atmospheric effects may be represented not only with the brush and colours, 
but also with chalk, tinted paper, stump and white; in fact, for rapid 
sketching, and when form is of the most importance, these latter materials 
frequently answer the purpose better than washes of colour, which take so 
long to dry, that the character of the effect is changed, and its evanescent 
beauties lost during the progress of the study. 

As the mode of working the flat washes constituting the commencement 
of skies, clouds, &c., has been described in the previous section, it will only 
be necessary to add, that the aerial tones will be more easily produced 
when the student, having returned to his study, has time to allow the 
washes of colour to dry on, and then to be treated with water, as explained 


ItASILZ 117 iiieiAII, QIE^TS 


at pp. 116 and 135. This should not^ however, prevent his attempting to 
imitate the tones of nature at the time his sketch is taken ; he can supply 
deficiencies in the execution by the addition of written notes on the back 
of his sketch. 

The student may derive some assistance by turning to the table of aerial 
grays (Plate 10), and to the views of Brientz (Plate 9) and Start Point 
(Plate 8), where such tones have been attempted ; although the mechanical 
result there shown can but feebly indicate the effect of the pure wash 
composed of a mixture of two colours applied by hand. In Plate 10, four 
bands of blues, of different qualities and d^rees of intensity, are passed 
through, or mixed with, various warm tones, principally reds; thus pro- 
ducing grays or purples of different degrees of purity. This will afford 
the student an opportunity of studying the qualities of the pigments he 
employs, and comparing the tones made by different pigments together ; by 
this he will perceive the tendency that any one of them has, for the union 
of two often makes these qualities more conspicuous. 



1. Cobalt Blae and Crimson. 

2. Cobalt Blue and Light Red. 

3. Cobalt Blue and Indian Red. 

4. Cobalt Blue and Brown Bfadder. 

5. Cobalt Blae and Light Red and Black. 

6. Cobalt Blue and Sepia. 

7. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Crimson Lake. 

8. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Light Red. 

9. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Indian Red. 

10. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Brown Madder. 

11. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Light Red and 


13. French Blue and Crimson Lake. 

14. French Blue and Light Red, 

15. French Blue and Indian Red. 

16. French Blue and Brown Madder. 

17. French Blue and Light Red and Black. 

18. French Blue and Sepia. 

19. Indigo and Cobalt and Crimson Lak& 
iO. Indigo and Cobalt and Light Red. 

21. Indigo and Cobalt and Indian Red. 

22. Indigo and Cobalt and Brown Madder. 

23. Indigo and Cobalt and Light Red and 


12. Cobalt Blue, full tint, and Sepia. j 24. Indigo and Cobalt and Sepia. 

Wherever these bands of colour cross or mingle, others of the same 
nature may be substituted ; they may also be varied in the proportions 
used, as some of these are : thus, for crimson lake, we may put rose madder 
or madder carmine if we require greater purity, and force is not desired ; or 
purple lake, if we desire great force; for light red, we may substitute Venetian 
red ; and as the latter is a purer red, not having so much yellow in it, we shall 


find the mixture is not so green ; for brown madder, purple madder, and so 
on. The student in this way may form such arrangements as will supply an 
endless variety of tints, and the practice will also assist him in acquiring 
a knowledge of the colours he employs. 

The following additional notes, with reference to this table, will show in 
what order, and for what purpose, the different tints may be used : 


For first washes, to prepare the paper, 

Neutbal Obakge, composed of varied quantities of Yellow Ochee and 
Brown Madder, for skies, clouds, and distances in general 

Oadmitjm and Sose Madder or Madder Carmine, for those skies 
where great purity is required. 

Light Bed, Venetian Bed, or Indian Bed are also employed in deli- 
cate washes to give warmth. 

When the first tint, of whatever composed, is dry, and has been washed 
off, the bluish-grays are to follow, according to the tone or effect desired, 
the student bearing in mind that each succeeding wash leaves more of the 
paper untouched ; so that at last, by repeated additions of tints partaking 
more and more of the cobalt or other pure blues, the lights appear by com- 
parison of a rich mellow tint In water-colour painting, cobalt is the most 
useful blue for skies and distances ; it is shown in Plate 10 of two degrees 
of strength, and also mixed with a little indigo. Should the washes of it 
appear a little green, it will be necessary to pass them over a slight wash of 
rose madder or crimson lake, or pass a wash of French blue over them. 
For the tones of daylight skies, cobalt therefore takes the precedence in 
our table. 

French Blue produces fine deep tones with the same colours, but it 
does not work so welL It is better, in the course of the working of the 
sky, to pass a slight wash of it over the cobalt and other colours. 

Indiqo and Prx7SSIAN Blue require to be used with the greatest caution. 
In skies or distances the former is generally too heavy, and inclined to 
green ; but for twilights it is very useful, as it produces the effect of sub- 
dued depth and a gray tone, taking away the cold rawness of cobalt 


Tints of crimson lake will be found mixed with cobalt and other blues 
in Plate 10, Nos. 1, 7, 13, 19. 

Light Rbd, mixed with the blues, produces tones much less pure or 
aerial '; having yellow in its composition, it causes them to incline to green, 
^ide Plate 10, Nos. 2, 8, 14, 20.) 

Light Bed, mixed with black and cobalt blue, makes a fine sUyery 
gray tone, scarcely possible to be represented, but attempted in Plate 10, 
Nos. 5, 11, 17, 23. 

Venetian Bed may sometimes be substituted for light red. Both of 
these make good tones for the shadowed parts of clouda 

Indian Bed in light washes will be found veiy useful in all skies of 
deep subdued tone, or in clouds of a stormy character ; although much like 
brown madder, it is in these parts of a drawing to be preferred ; the only 
difficulty is to prevent its appearing heavy, as it absorbs much light (Vide 
Plate 10, Nos. 3, 9, 15, 21.) 

Bbown Maddeb is in all its mixtures exceedingly useful for the distance 
and middle distance ; joined with any of the blues it forms fine grays, vary- 
ing from aerial tones to deep rich maroona (Vide Plate 10, Nos. 4, 10, 
16, 22.) 

Sepia, rendered cool with cobalt or French blue, is of much use in the 
quiet russet tones of the middle distance. (Vide Plate 10, Nos. 6, 12, 
18, 24.) 

The changes which can be produced by varying the quantities of each 
of these pigments are innumerable, and to repeat them would only confuse 
the pupiL Enough has been done by the combination of Plate 10 and notes 
to show him their nature and uses. For the tones of sunset, or rich golden 
skies, the first washes are composed of variations of the following pigments : 

Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow. 

Yellow Ochee, Indl^n Yellow, and Eose Madder. 

Gamboge, or Lemon Yellow, and Cadmium Yellow ; Gamboge and 
BosE Madder. 

In fact, all the first five of the pigments shown in Plate 4 may be used ; 
the first three more as auxiliaries in light washes ; the two others in re- 
peated washes. 


In scarlet and crimson sunsets or snnrise clouds^ more of red pigments 
most be used* Amongst these ranks first in importance EosE Maddeb, 
called also when purified and more intense Madder Cabbone (No. 12, 
Plate 4) ; then CBmsoK Lake (No. 13) ; and sometimes a little Indian 
Red (No. 15), or Pubple Maddeb (No. 16). In purple, and the deeper- 
toned clouds, we may use the madders more freely, and substitute French 
blue for oobali 

In twilights, or dark cloudy eflfects, where great power is desired, Ebench 
Blue and Indiqo are to be preferred, the tendency to green in the latter 
being corrected by some of the stronger reds, as Cbimson Lake, Indian 
' Red, Pubple and Bbown Maddeb ; when more neutral tones are required. 
Lamp Blaci^ IvoitT Black, or Ultbamabine Ash are used in addition, 
these pigments affording sUveiy grays of a soft or subdued character. 

In forming all these aerial grays we must endeavour to select the most 
transparent pigments ; and by using them, when painting skies, in thin but 
full washes, and also by the repeated washing mentioned in Chapter IIL, 
Section III, on Mode of Working, we attain the greatest clearness and force 
of colour, without however approaching gaudiness. 



Trees, like other portions of nature, constantly varying and multitudinous 
in their parts, require to be studied according to some methodical arrange- 
ment ; and it is the author's wish to give here a slight outline of the system 
he recommends for this purpose, referring the student to his former works 
on foliage for the more minute details of the subject Trees may be viewed 
either individually or in connection with other effects ; and, having become 
acquainted with their character as they generally appear when in a perfect 
state, the artist soon abandons the mere botanical study, and delights in 
taking them as component parts of the whole scenery of a country. An inti- 
macy with their botanical character and habit will be found of great assist- 
ance ; for by it he becomes aware of their usual appearance, their height 
and breadth, and their comparative size and form, — qualities best seen 
against the sky. Perhaps the next most important characteristic to mark 
is the colour of their foliage ; when, by close observation, the student has 
become fully acquainted with this, he will be able, even when at a con- 
siderable distance, to distinguish the kind of tree he wishes to represent 
Character will, of course, be most strongly developed in the full-grown tree. 
After the general colour, the light and shade should be remarked. In trees 
the power of reflecting masses of light varies considerably; for the foliage of 
some — such as the elm, beech, &c. — ^is so dense, and the disposition of the 
branches so arranged, that the form of the light masses can more readily be 
distinguished, and the character more easily delineated than in others, like 
the birch, which have thin or scattered leaves. 

The position of the trunk and limbs must be duly observed : the stems 
of most trees growing on level ground will be upright, and the head well 
balanced ; the branches may not be equally placed, but the general quan- 
tities will be the same ; on unlevel ground, on the banks of rivers, sides of 
cliffs, &a, or when trees grow id groups, or meet with obstruction in any 
direction, their positions vary, many appearing much inclined to the 
horizon. ' In this respect the object of the artist differs materially from that 
of the botanist ; the latter preferring for his specimen a perfect tree, undis- 
turbed in its growth by any irregularity or accidental circumstance ; even 
wishing it to be sheltered from any strong prevalent wind that might give 
it an inclination contrary, to his ideas of j>erfection. The artist, on the 

TRBES. 159 

other hand, is delighted to see the greatest diversity in growth and situa- 
tion, such as the effects of irregular ground or rocks on the form, the 
result of wind or storms blowing down some trees and leaving the trunks 
of others more exposed : the grouping of several trees together also causes 
great variety in the disposition and growth of their branches. Although 
the natural form or outline of a tree can only be ascertained when it stands 
alone, yet the character of each kind will be strongly developed when they 
are accompanied by other objects which afford opportunities for displaying 
their peculiarities. Such opportunities frequently occur ; as, for instance, 
the association of the ash with ruins. 

Trees are much affected by the soil, situation, and climate in which they 
grow : some, like the pine and fir, increase in height ; others, like the oak 
or chestnut, spread in width. 

Branches of trees vary much in their size and the angles they make with 
the parent stem ; in some, as the oak, chestnut, &a, the trunk appears to 
be aknost lost among the branches ; those of the fir tribe have very small 
limbs in proportion to the size of their trunks. In some, again, %ach branch 
divides into many brttnchlets — as the oak, beech, birch, &o. ; while others, 
such as the poplar, possess but a few small twigs or sprays. The mode in 
which the leaves combine should also be carefully studied. The usual form 
of groups of foliage is either roundish or oval ; but some, like the beech and 
cedar, have their sprays or twigs so arranged that they appear like layers 
or strata. 

In drawing the trunks and principal branches of trees, a difficulty occurs 
which nothing but a close observance of nature will obviate; for, with 
regard to the main stem, it will not be sufficient to mark the outline only 
where it proceeds from the ground, but it will also be essential to observe 
how the trunk rises from the large, well-defined roots, protruding, in many 
species, quite out of the earth ; these, owing to the variety of forms pret- 
sented by grass or broken ground about them, afford many opportunities of 
giving true perspective. Sometimes, indeed, in thick woods, this important 
point may be rendered obscure by the continual fall of leaves ; but trees 
standing in open situations always rise out of the ground with a conspicuous 
base, formed by the junction of the trunk with thei ropts. ^o circumstances 


add more to the effect of a tree, as a noble and stately object in a landscape, 
than the appearance of its massive trunk rising from a secure and widely- 
spreading base; and when old trees standing singly in a park are intro- 
duced, it is especially necessary to represent this appearance correctly. The 
stem itself should appear in the centre of the foliage, and of a round form, 
becoming more taper at the separation of each branch; this tapering 
recommencing at the divisions rather than being carried on by a regular 
decrease from the root upwarda The branches should be spread throughout 
the foliage in graceful ramifications, — ^not by a succession of curves, but by 
a just combination of curves and angles of different degrees, presenting the 
most varied lines of beauty. When hidden by the foliage they should be so 
represented as to be cairied on in imagination, until they re-appear in their 
proper place and of their true size, being at last lost among the leaves at the 

Although it is necessary to examine thus carefully the prevailing mode 
of growth and character of trees, so that the student may be able to repre- 
sent them faithfully, he must bear in mind that he is not expected to exhibit 
in his paintings more detail than Would be perceived by any person un- 
acquainted with their peculiarities when viewing them from a distance. 

A previous study of the characteristic touch of each kind of foliage, in 
pencil or chalk, having given the student much command over his brush ; 
and practice with the brush and sepia having made him master of many of 
the difficulties of handling, — ^he will, as a consequence, find colour and the 
brush far more effective and rapid than either chalk or pencil, and with care 
he will approach much nearer to nature : still there will be some difficulty 
in arriving at all the varieties of tint, air, distance, or looseness of ap- 
pearance ; so that it will be useful to recur again and again to chalk, in 
order to keep up that variety and delicacy in detail and freshness of nature 
which he should aim at preserving. 

One important point is to be observed on commencing the use of colour: 
the local colour of all trees is dark in comparison with many other objects, 
and has to be represented without destroying the breadth of light and shade. 
Some trees, with dense foliage, take large massive lights, and their shadows 
consequently appear proportionately dark ; others, with scattered and thin 

TREES. 161 

foliage, have scarcely any difference in the light or shadowed side ; but in 
these instances the stems, being more seen, give a compensating air of grace 
and motion. 

Having by these observations arrived at some idea of the growth and 
varieties of character appertaining to trees, we must now, in order to gain 
the power of delineating them with ease, examine the details of the tufting 
or subordinate masses of foliage, — a knowledge of which, added to that of 
the forms of their leaves and general growth, will enable us to depict the 
whole with firmness and energy ; for, as foliage cannot be copied with 
minute fidelity, but, on the contrary, the touch representing it should be 
rather suggestive, and the forms generalised, it is essential that we should 
be intimately acquainted with the anatomy of the^oifferent species. An 
outline of the trunk and branches being carefully drawn, and the boimdary 
line of the foliage marked, the next proceeding is to put in the masses of 
colour with bold but not careless handling. The touch should possess such 
a character as may inform the eye at a glance to what species the tree 
belongs ; for by at once securing individuality when the masses are put in, 
much subsequent trouble and uncertainty will be avoided. In this parti- 
cular, water-colour differs materially from oil-painting, in which the masses 
of colour are first rubbed in, and then the extremities finished by degrees. 
The chief thing is to give to the touches that ease and freedom which are 
the characteristics of nature ; and this cannot be done unless the hand, by 
previous practice in drawing all kinds of lines, has acquired that free and 
graceful motion which alone can enable it to express every variety of form 
with firmness, decision, ease, and grace. The facility of effecting all this 
may be followed up by studies imparting a like power over the deeper sub- 
tleties of colour, the attractive force of which is so great, that it may be 
said to amount to fascination. The student should bear in mind that, in 
nearly every case, the whole mass of foliage is lower in tone than the sky ; 
and when laying in the first tints, representing the local colour with the 
requisite degrees of firmness, it will rarely be found necessary to leave 
any portion of the foliage of the lighter tone of the paper or sky already put 
on, the light spaces between the leaves and boughs being the only parts so 
left. The quality of the first tone is usually neither so warm as the lightest 





V!:wi 'iiM. Jinsi AHin) ssCDHi raora. 

TREES- 163 

of the foliage, it sometimes happens that the whole mass relieves cool, as in 
this instance, from a body of warm colour, presented either by a sunset or 
the local colour of the objects behind. Examples 4, 5, and 6, show the 
reflection of the cool tint of the sky behind the spectator ; and should the 
foliage be glossy — many leaves being so — ^the upper portions and extreme 
edges, partaking of the character of the sky, will be still Cooler ; while the 
rich bright colour seen through the leaves and branches, attracting the eye, 
will cause it to penetrate to the warmer tone beyond. In Example 7, 
warm autumnal colours are massed together. In this case, the light parts 
being illuminated by the sun, their tints are extremely rich, and the eye 
penetrates, as it were, the whole mass, which possesses great depth of colour 
without blackness. To obtain this effect, great care in preserving the 
purity of the tones is required, and the whole must be worked by a process 


of dappling in pure colours harmonising with each other. 

Trees present many varieties of tints, some partaking so largely of the 
gray or purple character that they can scarcely be called green ; such are 
those of the fir tribe — dusky and deep in their general aspect, and, even 
when lighted up by the sim, neutral in their appearance. (Vide Example 8.) 
Again, there are others rendered neutral either by distance or the varying 
feffects of air and light. Thus, in Example 9, the green tones, notwith- 
standing the light in which they are viewed, are changed almost to a warm 
broken gray. To form this, pigments semi-opaque and undecided in their 
character are used. 

Having described the varieties of foliage shown in Plate 11, we will 
now pass on to an elementary example of the elm (Plate 12), showing the 
first tints. 

The first general tint and shadow having been put in with a brush 
always sufiiciently full to give transparency and richness, the masses will 
have rather a hard appearance, without much apparent freedom ; and water- 
colour drawings in this state have a commonplace air: there is great 
breadth, but none of that play of light and shade, none of that intricacy of 
form and endless variety of colour, abounding in nature ; so that it requires 
considerable reliance on recognised principles to proceed with the hope of 
arriving at a good result. These broad masses are now to be subdued by 

M 2 


half-darks, slightly varied in colour, but still cooler than the broad mass of 
light The completion of the foliage must not be attempted with this part 
of the process, the greatest darks and highest lights being yet to come. In 
the disposition of these, the pupil must constantly bear in mind the direc- 
tion of the light, as the broadest mass of light must be preserved on that 
part of the foU£^e nearest to the side whence it proceeds. The whole 
mass of foliage being now subdivided, it will be perceived that some of the 
groups of leaves may in a degree be made to retire by casting half-shadows 
from one branch to another, taking care that the transparent shadows thus 
cast carry the lines from the upper part of the tree obliquely downwards. 
When these are put in with varying degrees of force and colour, the intri- 
cacy of the foliage is much increased. The branches are now added with 
that decision which nothing but previous drawing of their outline, and sub- 
sequent laying in masses of foliage to correspond, could give. Upon the 
drawing and colour of these will greatly depend the life and truthfulness 
of the representation. If they are too visible, or brought too forward by 
strong positive colour or shadows, the whole of the foliage will appear on 
the farther side of the tree ; if they are not sufficiently distinct, the tree 
will look heavy and flat ; the branches should project from the stems in a 
natural, characteristic manner, pass behind the dense masses of foliage, and 
freely intersperse themselves among the boughs and leaves : in the position 
in which trees are usually viewed, they will be seen beneath the broadest 
masses of light, not upon them ; and their colour will be influenced in a 
great measure by the foliage and light. For the sake of simplicity, this 
plate of the elm is left in this stage, and the student is also referred to the 
previous elementary examples, Plate 11. For the concluding description of 
finished foliage, he is referred to Plate 14. The branches having been 
broadly but firmly delineated, the highest lights on the foliage are to be 
given ; and it will be found that talcing out their forms gives the greatest 
relief and opacity. The mode of eflfecting this with decision is to touch 
repeatedly a few of the leaves with water ; and when it is absorbed with 
blotting-paper, to rub them smartly out, rubbing from the light sky into 
the dark tree, and thus not taking any of the green into the sky : this may 
be done either with a cloth or india-rubber. Other touches are afterwards 

TREES. 165 

added, so as here to form masses, and there scattered foliage. Some of 
these are again glazed down with the richer and more transparent pigments, 
others with cooler tones ; the whole group of leaves or boughs being brought 
out by the addition of deep and warm tones, dappled in so as to preserve 
transparency in the shadows, and avoid coldness or blackness. Although 
the whole tree is now assuming a complete form, yet there will be a want 
of perspective in the extreme edges of the foliage, or the underneath parts 
of the boughs, resulting either from the ftillness with which the first tint 
was put on, or the difficulty of afterwards changing it sufficiently to give 
aerial perspective to different parts of the same bough. These edges can, 
however, be reduced by delicately touching them with a brush and water ; 
at the same time taking care to rub the superfluous colour towards the 
foliage, and not towards the sky or lighter parts of the drawing. The 
under part of the retiring boughs, after being thus rendered more distant, 
may be glazed down with French blue, and some kind of red ; thus pro- 
ducing cooler and grayer tones. The final touches (giving grace, lightness, 
and mobility, with variety of form and colour, to the foliage and branches) 
are now to be added. It is in this portion of his labours that the accom- 
plished artist delights. At this moment he feels that the hours he has 
spent with nature — ^his innumerable and varied studies of each kind of 
foliage and tree — ^his carefiil notes and observations on the effect produced 
on the colour by the time of day and the season of the year, the degree of 
transparency or gloss on the leaf, and the variety of the texture and tint of 
the bark, — all combined will enable him to complete the drawing begun 
with so much system and breadth, by adding the delicate refinements of 
art while aiming at an accurate representation of nature. It is precisely 
at this moment that the amateur, without system and education in art, 
feels his deficiency. He adds, — ^but only to detract from the efiect of 
what he has already done. Beginning without any idea of arrangement or 
order, he has made a most careful outline of the minutest parts, putting in 
innumerable touches in order to secure the character and shapes of the 
foliage : by a constant repetition of these anxious labours, he destroys all 
breadth of effect, all freedom of handling, and all clearness of colour ; in 
his desire to preserve form, he has lost it ; in aiming at clearness of colour^ 


ing, he has either become feeble, or by a repetition of tints, confused the 
forms, and produced muddiness ; thus proving the importance, in this 
pursuit, of some well-defined system upon which to depend for success. 
On the other hand, the artist now ceases to concern himself with the first 
difiiculties of mixtm*e of tints, the handling of the extremities, or the free- 
dom of the branches. Placing his picture on the easel, he retires to such a 
distance as to enable him to see it as he would nature herself; forgetting 
his previous labours, he regards it with a fresh and unprejudiced eye : he 
examines the tree with regard to other portions of the subject ; he ascertains 
if it agrees with them in tone, sentiment, and expression; whether it 
engrosses too much or engages too little of the attention ; whether it is 
well placed on the ground, has too much weight of foliage, separates the 
lights of the picture, or has the proper gradation of colour towards the 
base. In this way he judges if it be possible, by a few touches with his 
penknife, to let sparkling lights peer through the detached leaves ; whether 
by these means he can show the outline of the trunk or branches more 
distinctly ; also whether, with some judiciously placed and brilliant leaves, 
either taken out with the same instrument, or put on with opaque white 
and Naples or lemon yellow, he can bring the nearest boughs more forward. 
He notes that each branch is in its proper place, — here adding force, there 
taking away dark ; his object being to leave the tree as free and graceful as 
in nature, — a beautiful retreat for birds flying for refuge among its branches. 
In speaking of the exceeding intricacy of foliage, and the impossibility 
of representing it leaf by leaf without system. Buskin, in his Modem 
Painters, has a passage so appropriate that it is here added : " But if nature 
is so various when you have a bough on the table before you, what must 
she be when she retires from you, and gives you her whole mass and mul- 
titude? The leaves then at the extremities become as fine as dust, — a 
mere confusion of points and lines between you and the sky, — a confusion 
which you might as well hope to draw sea-sand particle by particle as to 
imitate leaf for leaf This, as it comes down into the body of the tree, gets 
closer, but never opaque. It is always transparent, with crumbling lights 
in it letting you through to the sky. Then out of this come, heavier and 
heavier, the masses of illumined foliage, all dazzling and inextricable, save 

TREEa J 67 

here and there a single leaf on the extremities. Then under these you get 
deep passages of broken, irregular gloom, passing into transparent, green- 
lighted, misty hollows ; the twisted stems glancing through them in their 
pale and entangled infinity, and the shafted sunbeams, rained from above, 
running along the lustrous leaves for an instant, then lost, then caught 
again on some emerald bank or knotted root, to be sent up again with a 
faint reflex on the white under-sides of dim groups of drooping foliage ; the 
shadows of the upper boughs running in gray network down the glossy 
stems, and resting in quiet checkers upon the glittering earth ; but all 
penetrable and transparent, and, in proportion, inextricable and incompre- 
hensible, except where, across the labyrinth and the mystery of the dazzling 
light and dreamlike shadow, falls, close to us, some solitary spray, some 
wreath of two or three motionless large leaves, the type and embodying of 
all that in the rest we feel and imagine, but can never see.** 

Shadows cast by trees vary much in their colour and density ; the latter 
being in some, the beech for instance, so intense that it does not even 
permit liie grass to grow; thus causing a change in the local colour of the 
part beneath : in others, again, it is much lighter and more diffused. In 
aU cases, when the shadow of foliage falls on the trunks, it will give rise to 
great variety of line, and afford many opportunities for showing the true 
perspective of the form. 

In respect to the checkered light and shade proceeding from single 
leaves or separated masses of foliage, the student can scarcely escape, during 
his early observations of shadows cast by the sun, meeting with difficulty in 
accoimtiog for the innumerable varieties presented to his view. A leaf close 
to a wall will cast a shadow in form like itself ; another leaf at the distance 
of a yard or two will give a shadow of indefinite outline, having a round 
instead of an angular edge ; a leaf at a greater distance will produce a mere 
dimness hardly distinguishable as to shape. In like manner, an angular 
opening among the leaves, if near the waU, wiU produce an illuminated 
angular space ; but if distant, it wUl present a rounded form. All this 
depends upon the apparent size of the sun — ^the source of these lights and 
shadows. If a screen, having in it a round hole about half an inch in 
diameter, be held so as to cast its shadow on the floor, there will appear on 


the latter a circle of light corresponding with the hole. If the screen be 
close to the floor, this light circle will be of the same size as the hole ; but 
on raising it from the floor, the illuminated space will become larger and 
larger, and its edge more and more difFused and indistinct. If triangular 
instead of round, then, when the screen is near the floor, it will give a 
triangular space of light ; but as the screen is moved away, this space in- 
creases, and becoming dim at the edges, the angles disappear, and at a 
certain distance the aperture gives a round image of the sun four or five 
times larger than that seen in the first position. On examination it will 
readily be perceived that these effects arise from the apparent size of the 
luminary compared with the aperture, and that the light from one side of 
the sun passing through it obliquely, crosses to the other side under the 
screen ; and that this action, being repeated all round, produces the 
enlarged image of the sun on the floor beneath. When the aperture is a 
mere pinhole, the effect becomes that of the camera obscura ; when larger, 
the round illuminated space is really an imperfect image of the sun. Thus, 
when the apertures between the leaves of a tree are small and distant fix)m 
the place where the shadows fall, the light spaces are rounded, being rough 
images of the sun overlapping each other. This is so true, that in a partial 
eclipse, the peculiar effect produced often causes great surprise ; for the 
light spaces on the ground or walls have the same form as that presented at 
the time by the sun itself ; though, owing to the crossing of the rays at the 
aperture, the position of these forms is that of the sun inverted. It should 
be remarked, that the brilliancy and power of the sunlight in these rounded 
spaces are much diminished ; so that they must be represented by a grayer 
tone, making a considerable contrast in this respect to those larger open- 
ings among the leaves where the sun shines in fuU force. A careful artist 
will observe another interesting efiect produced by these lights and shadows- 
If a leaf or other object intervene, in the course of the rays coming through 
an aperture in the upper part of a tree, its shadow will be thrown on the 
ground or wall with remarkable distinctness ; of this he may convince him- 
self by intercepting, with the hand or a small spray, the passage of the rays. 
The philosopher easily traces the cause of this effect to the laws governing 
the passage of rays of light, which, as they must proceed in right lines* 

ITillBIIiS ®]r (EIE1E1BHS ilEftD' lEHISSlETSa 


TREES. 169 

cannot cross again in passing from the aperture to the grouni The artist 
who paints with great accuracy may occasionally require such an effect, and 
therefore it is well to be aware of its nature. 

By turning to Plate 13 (a table of greens and russets), some idea may 
be formed of the great variety of tones that may be produced without in- 
cluding those mixtures under the indefinite titles of Hooker's, Varley's 
green, &c. It may be well to observe, that the tints in this diagram are 
merely approximations to the mixtures made with the pigments named 
in the margin ; they are neither so powerful, so transparent, nor so well 
defined as those which the pupil can make with water ; but in the absence 
of the master, they will in some degree serve to indicate the pigments to 
be used. 

Selecting indigo as the most useful blue in water-colours for forming 
greens, and cobalt blue with a little indigo, the two extremes are indicated ; 
Prussian blue is also represented as possessing great clearness and trans- 
parency ; we may add French blue and ultramarine, — sometimes used, but 
difficult to represent in these tables. Taking, then, indigo, and mixing it, as 
in Example No. 1, Plate 13, with gamboge, a most agreeable and natural 
tone is the result ; with Indian yellow, as in No. 2, a more powerful and 
vivid tone is produced, slightly inclined to opacity, owing to the turbid 
tendency of the Indian yellow. These are both suitable, with more or less 
of blue, for summer tints ; but should it be desirable to give more of an 
autumnal tone, the addition of burnt sienna, No. 4, is easily made. The 
pupil will, with very few experiments, perceive that the addition of any of 
the pigments inclining to red tends to degrade or render the green pro- 
duced in the first instance less vivid ; but he should also bear in mind that 
the fewer pigments he uses to form his tints^ the clearer and more trans- 
parent they will be ; and that rather than gain the required tint by repeated 
additions, he should wash all out of his brush and begin again with others 
better suited for his purpose. Suppose, however, he wishes to make the 
tints shown in 1, 2, and 3 rather more neutral, without taking away the 
general warmth, he can add a little of the lakes or madders : one of these 
tints is shown in No. 5. Indigo, with raw sienna, No. 3, is a more subdued 
and indefinite green, suitable, in light washes, for the first tints of water ; 


with Prussian blue, French blue, and cobalt, these tones wiU vary in purity 
and transparency ; and the addition of a little crimson lake or madder pro- 
duces those indefinite gray greens so often seen in water. 

The mixture of indigo and hrovmpink has already been named as a full- 
toned and transparent green. All these tints wUl incline to cool or warm 
according to the proportion of blue or yellow used ; but should it be desir- 
able to produce rich autumnal tones, or to glaze over those already made, 
suitable tints wUl be obtained by mixing transparent pigments, such as 
gamboge^ with hroion madder y or Indian yellow with rose or purple madder. 
Unfortunately, in water-colours, it is not easy to retain clearness and trans- 
parency when glazing one pigment over another; it is apt to produce black- 
ness in the shadows of foliage, — a fault by aU means to be avoided. 

When greens are made with French blue or cobalt, they will be purer 
and more aerial than those formed with indigo, and be found very useful as 
variations of colour for the more distant portions of foliage. Some of these 
mixtures are shown in Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. 

To produce greater variety in the green of trees and other objects, as 
well as to obviate an appearance of coldness and thinness occasioned by the 
continual introduction of blues, the richer yellow and faded tones of grass 
or herbage in the foreground are frequently made by mixing a^pia and 
gamboge, No. 13 ; sepia and Indian yellow, No. 14 ; sepia and raw sienna, 
No. 15. "With Prussian blue the greens are cooler and more decided than 
with indigo, and are shown in Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24. I 

Although the stems and branches of trees, from being for the most part 
in shadow, do not present such marked variety of colour as the foliage, yet 
they have some peculiarities requiring mention ; generally speaking, they 
are deeper in fone than the foliage, with the exception of the birch, beech, 
aspen, and ash ; even the last three would often appear of a dark gray were 
it not for the contrast afforded by the surrounding foliage. The principal 
thing is to avoid blackness or too deep and decided a colour, such as pure 
Vandyke brown, umber, &c. Vandyke brown and umber, however, mixed 
with a little indigo or French blue, are very useful. Brown madder, again, by 
itself may be too rich in tone, even for the lights ; but with a little yellow 
ochre, or ivory black, it is very true to nature, and with indigo, or French 



TREES. 171 

blue, excellent for the cooler shadows. The same may be said of burnt 
sienna ; Indian yellow added gives the deep mossy green tint for branches 
and stems in shadow. Almost all the grays used in the middle distance are 
also employed, varied by light red, rose madder, purple madder, or yeUow 
ochre. Sepia, varied with the same pigments for the light, or with blues 
and a little lake for cooler-coloured branches, is equally useful ; and, to con- 
clude with the same advice given before in the description of foliage, avoid 
blackness or a dirty appearance, and endeavour to gain power and depth by 
passing one pure tint or colour over another rather than by putting the 
fuU strength on at once. 

In Plate 14, the lower portions of a group of beech-trees have been 
given, in order to show the kind of subject the pupil wiU find it best to 
commence with ; as by avoiding many of the difl&culties occurring in the 
delineation of more numerous and intricate masses of foliage, and seizing 
the opportunity of striking contrast, for which the trunk of the beech-tree 
is remarkable, he will soon find that he can make pleasing pictures. In 
such subjects it frequently happens that the difference of colour among the 
stems will afford sufficient contrast ; but if this is aided by a fortunate 
occurrence of light and shadow, the student will be relieved from one of 
the difl&culties in arranging the chiaroscuro of his subject. In this example 
he may observe that care has been taken to preserve the general breadth of 
light on the trunks of the trees, by keeping the cast shadows transparent ; 
fortunately, also, the dark-coloured moss, which might have destroyed that 
breadth, is on the shadowed side. 

The student's attention should in the first instance be given to the care- 
ful and minute study of simple subjects, consisting principally of objects 
placed immediately in the foreground, with just that small portion of dis- 
tance which is necessary to afford variety to the tints. Eocks, banks, 
cottages, and beech-stems, are well suited for the pupil's first attempts in 
colouring from nature, the objects being sufficiently large, while they are 
varied in form and colour by their proximity to the eye ; also their details are 
easily seen, thus aflfording many opportunities for the practice of the pencil 
or the brush. Let him not overlook or despise such bits of rustic nature 
because they are not views of great extent or grand scenes ; when he can 
paint portions of landscapes well, he may enlarge his ideas, or extend his 


range of subjects. In our exhibitions we may continually observe how 
popular such scenes are with the British public, when depicted by the 
graceful, varied, and powerful touch of Harding, the bold and vigorous hand- 
ling of Lee, or the careful and delicate refinement of Creswick In subjects 
like these close at hand, bushes and young trees which fringe the banks, or 
that grow among the rocks, have a more separated and distinct touch than 
when the foliage is in larger masses ; and like all foliage of shrubs and 
young trees, it points more directly upwards than that of older treea 

Addressing ourselves more particularly to colour, we find that the green 
of trees may be composed of many diflferent pigments ; but for water-colour 
painting, those which are nearly transparent are to be preferred, and in 
general the student will obtain great variety by miving blue and yellow 
pigments. But some of these not being very permanent, those fading or 
deepening in equal proportions should be selected ; thus he will find indigo 
with gamboge or Indian yellow^ or, for a deeper tone, the same Hue with 
brovm pinky form a rich and natural green. 

In Chapter III., Section IIL, on "the Handling of the Brush," directions 
have been given to use in the first attempts a neutral tint, so that 
the pupil, when employed in the practice of colour, may not have to en- 
counter all the difficulties at the same time. In concluding this portion of 
the work, however, it may be as well to point out that there are varieties in 
the form of brushes which greatly facilitate the introduction of certain 
shapes and touches. Thus a large round sable in an eagle or swan quill 
may suffice for the broad and flat tints at the beginning ; but it should not 
be so large that it cannot be used to give the outside terminations of the 
foliage with its true character, as this is generally better done at once, 
although light and separated sprays may be added at the conclusion. A 
flat and rather short sable is also used ; and with it and some of the more 
opaque pigments, great variety of touch and form can be obtained ; when 
the colour is thick, or gum or megilp is used, much the same effect is pro- 
duced as is obtained in oil. The water-colour painter cannot fail to regard 
as a valuable power the facility of putting on the highest lights possessed 
by the painter in oil ; but notwithstanding this, he should avoid as much 
as possible the employment of opaque body-colour, as, although it may add 
to the force, will certainly detract from the transparency of the work. 



'* *'- *""■ anxiety to the pupii A small object near at band 'becomes 
of great importance when reproduced in a picture : if BkilfuUy executed, the 
foreground possesses the power of satisfying the eye, and, at tlie same time, 
allowing it to pass on to the rest of the subject ; but if overwrought, or too 
minutely finished, it is apt to engross the attention due to objects in the 
distance of far greater magnitude and interest ; consequently a clear idea 
of the nature and purpose of the for^round is a matter of gr^t moment. 
The capability of first engaging the attention without absorbing it is a most 
desirable quality ; as an introduction, it may be compared to the overture 
of an opera, which conveys merely a general idea, to be more fully developed 
as the action proceeds. 

The objects of which a foregroiind is composed, although well selected 
and carefully drawn from nature, may, on a first view of the picture, appear 
to want finish. This, however, on a closer examination, may be found not 
to arise from any deficiency of knowledge ; in fact, an intimate acquaintance 
with the forms of the near portion of a picture, their lights and shades, 
reflections and variations of colour, should not lead the artist to elaborat« 


display or servile copying : his skill will be evident fix)m the ease of exe- 
cution, the variety of touch, truth of character, of surface, of colour, but 
above all, in the judicious control with which his work is executed. 

Careful and varied studies from nature afiford a facility of selecting such 
lines and forms for the foreground as have reference to the rest of the sub- 
ject, they being indeed some of the objects in the picture brought close to 
the eye ; and the cultivated taste of the artist will lead him to reject forms 
not characteristic, or which repeat those of the distance. From the con- 
tinual action of rain or falling water, the forms of rocks, stones, and banks 
in the foreground will be convex ; and although the most picturesque roads 
are strongly marked by ruts and inequalities, and banks or ground may be 
greatly varied by scattered rocks and broken surfaces, they should not bear 
the appearance of having been newly disturbed, but be naturally placed ; 
and besides paying attention to the varieties of local colour, the appropriate 
light and shade must be given to each part. 

It is sometimes alleged, as an excuse for inaccurate or careless dravring^ 
of the foreground, that it is not distinctly seen when the eye rests on the 
middle or extreme distance, it being at such time out of the focus of the 
eye. Doubtless it is so ; but pictures are not to be judged by the strict laws 
of optics — ^they are altogether conventional ; in nature we cannot look at 

'listance and foregroimd without imperceptibly altering the focus of the ; neither can we look at two portions of a picture at the same moment 
with attention without altering the direction of the eye. It will, therefore, 
be sufficient if our studies afford us the power of giving a general appearance 
of reality, reserving the most careful finish for those portions of the picture 
intended to attract the eye of the spectator. The apparent want of import- 
ance in some of the objects forming the foregroimd in the natural scene, 
and the continual motion of others, cause the student to pass them over as 
tinwoii;hy of notice; yet, in his after-attempts to form pictures, there is 
scarcely any question suggesting itself more frequently than, " What shall I 
put in the foreground ? " Perhaps a few notes of actual conversations with 
an intelligent pupil on some of these occasions would show more vividly the 
difficulties felt and the manner of overcoming them ; the student might 
then understand that paintings by our best artists are not so much com- 


positions made at home as they are the results of careful studies and 
selections made at fortunate moments abroad. Thus they illustrate with 
great force the advantage of having] the eye and attention trained to a 
close observance of nature. 

Notes. — Loch Duich : Heavy shower ; Interior of a Hovel. 

Pupil. "This interruption is very vexatious, for I had nearly finished my 
sketch ; and although some lines of the mountains were not fortimate in their 
arrangement, and there was no foreground but a dismal peat-bog, that old castle,, 
with the lake and mountains, would have made a good subject," 

Master, "While we wait, could we not draw these old peat-baskets, spades, and 
barrows, which lie on the ground 1 Afterwards we will fill one of the baskets with 
fern, and hang it up in the position it would occupy on a girl's back : careful 
studies of these will be useful accessories for our figures and foregrounds. 

" The shower over, remark how a portion of it yet falling hangs like a filmy 
veil over those Hues of the mountains you wished to hida "What light and breadth 
it gives to the distance ! What shadow to the middle of your picture ! Take 
your brush, and put in that effect before it passes away ; add notes of the evanescent 
effect in writing. See, the peasants are again at work digging peats, and some 
kUted urchins have brought an old white horse and sledge to take them home. 
Make a large and careful drawing of the horse and sledge. Good : these three 
hours have been well spent ; and you now possess a correct study from which to 
paint when at home. Look, the sledge is loaded ; some of the children sit half 
buried in the fern — a girl, with golden hair, dressed in a hght pink jacket 3^^ '' 
maroon petticoat, is putting another on the top. Quick: take your note-book-,,,^ 
sketch that action : the position once seized in real action, you can either place her 
in it again or get a model at home. Kow a bright gleam of the setting sun gilds 
the whole group ; how the local colours disappear under its powerful influence ! 
Take a brush, white, and colour ; dash in the general effect of those tints ; note how 
prominent all the flesh tones are — the whole in perfect harmony, and would still 
have been so, although the colours of the dresses had all been crude, so immeasur- 
ably superior is sunlight to local colour. All the prominent parts are lit up with 
the sun, reminding us of the advice of our old friend, * Always dig in with cool, 
and bring out with warm colours'. " 

" My sketch is finished, and it is a picture ! '* 

" Yes, you have now a careful study, made under the usual daylight^ and a 
memorandum of effect and colour. Eemark, too, that agreeable and popular pictures 
are more the result of this prompt attention to accidental circumstances and effects 
than of a laborious heaping together of all the finest objects in the world. You 
admire Landseef s ' Forester's Family,' or some of Taylor's Highland lassies bringing 


home fern or tcudiDg sheep. Had these artists not possessed an eye to note as well 
as. a ready pencil to sketch such incidents, they would not have remained as 
pictures to enchant the world/* 

As an instance of the way in which an uneducated eye passes over what 
constitutes a foreground, another extract is given. Castle Donan, Loch 
Duich Ferry. 

" This is a charming little subject ; let us sit down on this mass of rock, and 
draw it before we cross.** 

" My sketch is finished, but I can see nothing for the foreground ; the water of 
the lake is all gray, with a ripple on it preventing reflection.**. 

" Your sketch of the castle and distant mountains is very good ; let us wait * 
little. Ah, the wind has fallen : the reflections of the castle, rocks, and deep- 
toned trees, are now distinctly seen, repeating the various forms and colours, at the 
same time hiding the parallel lines at their base, and blending both reality and re- 
flection in that mystical obscurity that adds such a charm to this mountain scenery. 
In the water at our feet, the dark ruins of the old castle and trees contrast beautifully 
with the light reflected from the bright cloud ; the ripples on the shore give an 
additional effect. Now the ferry-boat crosses with an old white horse, two cows, 
and one or two rustic figures. See, they are about to fasten it to the rock on which 
we sit. Let us retire a few steps, and include the whole group in our sketch. 
Notice the fine citrine and maroon colour of the sea- weeds and rocks ; put in that 
light sail as it passes the point on which the castle stands — it comes in well there : 
add one or two of those white sea-birds ; we have the power of placing these 
movable objects where we please, provided their position is natural** 

" Why, I find I have a beautiful and appropriate foreground, without any other 
trouble than thdt of observing what occurs around me.'* 

If, instead of a paucity of objects in the foreground, there appears a 
redundancy of form, accompanied with great intricacy of lines, it is well to 
begin with those of the most importance ; such, for instance, as the ruts of 
a road or the largest mass of rock or stone, with bushes or a gix)up of weeds 
attached to it : these having been secured, other forms of less importance 
may be added, so as not to interfere with those already drawn. 

As foregrounds constitute much of the interest of pictures, and are in 
many cases the principal points of attraction, it is worth while to examine 
with some care the way in which they are handled. There should, in the 
first place, be great solidity and firmness, accompanied with variety of 


texture and surface, in all rocks, stones, and broken ground. In oil-painting, 
and in the impasto style lately used with great eflPect and power, this is 
produced with comparative ease by the numerous processes at command ; 
for instance, by loading on solid masses of pigments ; by using the paUet 
knife to produce a crisp edge and a flat smooth surface, suddenly changing 
into another surface at a different angle; by thickly impasting on the 
pigments with large quantities of wax or other myguilphs, and dabbing, 
stubbing, or dragging a short bristly brush on them either when wet or half 
dry, or we may cause the hairs of the brush to separate by pressing it up- 
• wards or downwards (while in this condition for grass) ; in fact, using all our 
power of handling and the most varied tools with solid pigments, and after- 
wards by glazing with transparent pigments, aided by an equally varied 
assortment of vehicles, and with the power of taking away that portion of 
the glazing which lies on the prominent parts, leaving it in the interstices 
to give relief and depth. By the use of aU these processes, and many more, 
stigmatised by some as tricks of art, but which, when employed with due 
subservience to the higher qualities, are exceedingly useful, oil-painters, and 
those who use the impasto style, are enabled to bring in high relief that 
part of the picture near the eye, and cause the more distant part to recede. 
The water-colour painter, however, must arrive at the same result with 
different materials ; he must apply all the first washes and tints flatly, but 
with decision, so that the edges look almost too hard ; in the succeeding 
tints, forms, and shadows, he will use a dryer brush, and change the 
pigment on the tip or point of it frequently, taking care that these changes 
of colour and these markings do not interfere with the general effect He 
must avail himseK of the various processes described before, to take out 
a portion or all of the colour from certain parts, and leave the form convex ; 
he has a sufficient choice of rich glazing pigments to subdue any colour 
that may chance to be left too bright ; and as a last resource, he may use 
Chinese white, adding to it the colour he requires, or glazing it down 
afterwards with gum and transparent pigmenta 

All these means are sometimes insufficient to overcome a thinness, or 
want of solidity, in our attempts to represent surfaces near the eya To 
obviate this in some measure, a change in the texture of the paper, from fine 



in the sky to coarse in the foreground, has been described in Chapter II. 
Section III. Vigour and boldness in laying on the first tints, notwith- 
standing a certain degree of harshness or angularity it may occasion, will 
be of essential service in producing firmness; these tints form a good 
foundation for the various processes of dragging, glazing, rubbing, scraping, 
or scumbling, which follow, — for the outside form must be given with 
decision, and breadth is produced with a full brush; it also gives the 
opportunity of varying the tones while wet. Over these first tints the 
secondary or intermediate touches are placed, the colour being continually 
changed by taking up different pigments with the point of the brush, or by 
allowing the hairs of the brush to separate, and producing variety with 
cooler or warmer colours. When the general form and tones have been 
given, and a certain degree of breadth obtained, it will be necessary to 
resort to the practice of taking out some of the lighter leaves by first 
touching their shapes in with water, and then rubbing them off briskly with 
the painting-cloth. To take out these with sharpness, the wetting must be 
repeated once or twice ; and when the water is absorbed with blotting-paper, 
they must be rubbed out sharply with the cloth or india-rubber ; if too 
light or cold, warmer tones may be added. By glazing in this way, warm 
lights and reflection can be given with great trutL 

The greatest darks must next be introduced, either by dragging the 
brush sideways, loaded with different colours, or dappling in those of a deep, 
rich, and pure tone, — ^thus producing an appearance of intricacy arid trans- 
parency not attainable by any endeavours to put them in by one blot of 
colour. When a clearly defined form is desired, it may be cut or scraped 
out with a sharp knife ; and if the paper be rough and thick, additional 
texture will be produced by scraping off those portions of the tint on the 
eminences, and afterwards toning down the light parts. In all such mani- 
pulations, there is abundant room for showing dexterity ; bidlliancy must 
be preserved without gaudiness, sharpness and firmness of lines without 
mechanical hardness : always keeping in view the necessity for transparency 
in the shadows and opacity in the lights, and throughout recollecting to 
preserve the general arrangement of colour and breadth of effect In giving 
variety of colour and form to foregrounds, as well as bringing that portion 


of the picture into closer proximity to the spectator, there is no division of 
nature more effective than vegetation ; and whether, viewing it collectively, 
we try to represent its general hue and the effect it has on the colour of the 
picture, or, taking one particular plant, or group of plants, draw it with that 
fidelity and attention calculated to attract the eye, it deserves our most 
careful notice. With the desire of preventing the loss of time which would 
result from an indiscriminate and laborious study of plants, and also to indi- 
cate to students in art the difference between the labours of artists and those 
of botanists, a few remarks on this portion of landscape study will be added. 
Vegetation must be viewed, not only as giving variety of form and distinct- 
ness to the near part of the picture, but as it affects the whole colour of the 
landscape. There are many plants insignificant in themselves, which become 
of great value to the painter when associated in large numbers and gene- 
rally diffused. Under these circumstances they are of great importance, 
not only affecting the tone of the whole picture, but also indicating the 
season of the year. The first in consequence, and one almost universal in 
nature, is common grass, regarding it generally, and without dividing it 
into the various species ; it is, therefore, more or less introduced into nearly 
every picture. The student must be careful not to scatter it at random 
over the foreground of his drawing, but in the first place indicate the sur- 
face of the ground on which it grows, correctly delineating the various little 
hillocks, and selecting those lines which, by leading the eye into the picture, 
aid the perspective. Blades relieving from the surface beyond, whether by 
light from dark, or the contrary, require notice. In general, these blades 
are either straight, or slightly curved lines, pointing in different directions, 
some being more distinctly marked than others. When in light, the strokes 
indicating them will be firmer than the rest ; when in shadow, they may be 
allowed to vanish into indistinctness. 

The next in importance are the heaths, abounding on the uncultivated 
barren moors and mountains of Scotland, and found also in smaller quanti- 
ties in many parts of England. These give to the distant landscape that 
endless variety of russet, purple, and roseate hues which add such glowing 
charms to the view. Ferns also give a wild luxuriance both to forest and 
heaths ; their form is so exceedingly graceful, that they deserve to be 



finished with great care when near the eye ; and, growing closely together, 
they also present laige masses of colour, differing much from that surround- 
ing them. There are many other plants conspicuous from their size, 
marked character, and general distribution over the country. One of the 
best known is the burdock ; it is particularly useful to the artist, and forms 
one of his boldest and simplest foreground plants. Another is the coltsfoot, 
more attached to the borders of streams, which, when grouped with the 
water-dock, with its deep and rich-coloured blossoms, or the meadow-sweet, 
with lemon-tinted and clustered head, affords a pleasing variety of colour as 
well as form, and contrasts well with the repose of the water beyond. In 
the hedge-rows and ditches the teazel and foxglove will at once be recognised 
as possessing character, size, and colour, and therefore requiring a corre- 
sponding degree of attention. It is necessary to remark, that the intro- 
duction of all these plants into the foreground of pictures must appear quite 
easy and natural Some kind of confusion may be allowed in objects which 
are thrown, or are growing, accidentally together ; but breadth and sim- 
plicity must be observed, that the eye may not be disturbed by too many 
forms of the same size and distance from the spectator. With all the 
variety of outline and colour which plants, combined with rocks and 
broken ground, afford, the student wiU find that the foreground becomes 
a most interesting part of his picture. He wiU, however, look upon it 
only as a portion, and see that it is not divided from the rest by too sudden 
an alteration in colour, light and shade, or treatment. The parts must all 
combine to form an harmonious whole, each securing to itseK that amount 
of interest to which it is entitled from the position it holds in the picture. 



part irregular in their appearance, and offering little of atcbitectural beauty, 
chiefly interest na by the association of ideas conveyed to out mind, and the 
variety both of form and colour presented to our view ; the latter, frequently 
including portions displaying great elegance of design, give rise to senti- 
ments of a far more elevated character : in either case, an accurate know- 
ledge of perspective will be found indispensable to their truthful repre- 
sentation. This knowle^e will enable the student to give to the various 
forms Ttality, even though they may be half destroyed by time, or partially 


concealed beneath ivy, stones, and grass : it will impart that finnness of 
hand and decision of touch calculated to prevent the detached portions from 
deviating too much from the original direction ; and it will thus leave the 
student free to add the colour and light and shade with a bold and vigorous 
brush, to draw the whole without interruption, and to prevent any of the 
parts from appearing either too new, too formal, or too architectural in their 

Looking at rustic buildings in an artistic point of view with regard to 
the effect they may have on the composition, we find that an irregular form 
and plan is as much to be desired in these as a correct and architectural 
completeness in the houses forming part of a town or city. This irregu- 
larity, however, is most picturesque when it is the result of time or acci- 
dent ; a similar observation being equally applicable to their colour. For 
example, it is seldom that a single white cottage of regular outline forms an 
object of interest ; and even when such buildings are repeated in groups or 
scattered about the picture, they by no means contribute to the beauty of 
the scene ; but when we see some quaint old farmhouse, built of rough 
stone, with its antique gable-ends and towering chimneys of fantastic shape, 
its roof formed partly of thatch and partly of tiles, the outbuildings strag- 
gling around, and widely-spreading walnut-trees overshadowing portions of 
the house, we at once pronounce the whole picturesque : time has varied 
the form and mellowed the colour, and thus connected it with the surround- 
ing landscape 

Many old castles and gateways scattered throughout our land are 
divided in character, uniting much of the beauty of the rustic farmhouse 
with the grandeur of outline appertaining to the Norman ruin ; these, how 
degraded soever they may be by the uses to which they have been applied, 
and incongruous as they may appear from additions intended to convert 
them into dwellings for the peasantry, still rank among the most pleasing 
of our subjects : such are Allington Castle, near Maidstone ; Carisbrook 
gateway, and portions of Conway Castle. Of ruins less dilapidated in their 
foim, and more elevated in their style of architecture, we have some fine 
examples in Vale Crusis, at the head of this section ; also Bolton, Tintern, 
Netley, and Melrose Abbeys, with Kenilworth and Warwick Castles. 


Fortunately our country abounds in these venerable remains of eccle- 
siastical and baronial structures ; and happy is it for the landscape-artist 
when the owners, gifted with that refined taste which alone can appreciate 
their beauties, in taking means to prevent their falling into decay, are 
careful so to preserve their character as not to interfere with the sentiment 
usually attached to them as ancient ruins. Price, in his work on the 
" Picturesque," alludes to the false taste of those who level all the inequali- 
ties of ground about a ruin with the view of connecting it with their modem 
houses, or so-styled improvements. He says : " Fountains Abbey I never 
saw, but have heard too much of the alterations, which luckily were not 
quite completed. Thei'e is, however, an ancient castle which I have seen 
since that boasted improvement took place of making it stand in the lawn. 
The lawn has so entirely subdued and degraded the building, that had I not 
known it was really an ancient castle, I might have mistaken it for a modern 
ruin. Nor at a distance would the real size have undeceived me ; for the 
old foss having been filled up, and the surface levelled and smoothed to the 
very foot of the building, the whole had acquired a character of littleness, 
as well as of bareness, from the flat naked ground about it. 

" By tilling up the fosses of a castle, its character as a castle is greatly 
destroyed ; by removing the trees and brushwood, and levelling and smooth- 
ing the rough irregular ground, its eflfect to the painter, and its character as 
a ruin, are no less injured. What a system of improvement must that be 
which universally destroys character and creates monotony ! 

"I lately observed the same efiect produced by the same cause on 
natural masses of stone in a walk near Matlock. The walk led towards 
the principal feature, the rock, which I had been greatly struck with from 
below, and was eager to get a nearer view of. On approaching it, I hardly 
could believe it was the same ; but did not immediately conceive the cause 
of my disappointment I had allowed for the bad efiect, in such a scene, of a 
gravel walk, with regular sweeps and borders ; but, besides that, the ground 
had been cleared, levelled, and turfed from the edge of the walk to the 
foot of the rock and round it, into all its hollows and recesses. Though 
an immense mass of stone, it hardly appeared natural ; but seemed rather 
as if it had somehow been brought and erected at an enormous expense 


in a spot which, as far as the improvements extended, was so little suited to 
its character/* 

It is the artificial eflPect produced by this want of taste that is so objec- 
tionable ; the painter is content to see the ruin as left by the hand of Time, 
without even requiring the appearance of those details so interesting to the 
antiquary : to the former, should the ruin occupy a site which, from natural 
causes, it might be expected to fiU, it is aU-sufficient The architect is 
anxious to preserve all the details of his edifice ; the artist prefers hiding 
much of the repetition of form by ivy, bushes, or trees. Trees, indeed, 
form the most delightful association with ruins ; their rounded shapes, the 
variety produced by their colour, and the relief the last-mentioned property 
aflPords the eye, occasion their frequent introduction into such scenes. 
Quoting again from Price: "Painters not only represent trees accom- 
panying ruins, but almost in contact with splendid buildings in their perfect 
and entire state. Such an accompaniment adds still greater variety and 
beauty to the most beautiful and varied architecture, and by partial con- 
cealment they can give an interest almost to any building, however formal 
and ugly. ... In regard to their being obstructions, or considered as 
such, that wiU partly depend upon the judgment with which they arc placed, 
and partly upon the owner^s turn of mind. 

"Whoever prefers, in all cases, a mere prospect (and in that light every 
unbroken view may be looked upon) to a prospect of which the accompani- 
ments had been, or seemed to have been, arranged by a great painter, will 
think every thing an obstruction that prevents his seeing aU that it is pos- 
sible to see in all directions. But he who is convinced that painters, from 
having most studied them, are the best judges of the combinations and 
efiects of visible objects, will only look upon that as an obstruction which, 
if taken away, would not merely let in more of the view, but admit it in a 
happier manner in point.of composition ; and whoever has felt the extreme 
difference between seeing distant objects, as in a panorama, without any 
foreground, and viewing them under the boughs, and divided by the stems 
of trees, with some parts half discovered through the branches and foliage, 
will be loth to cut down an old tree which produces such effects, and no less 
desirous of creating those eflfects by planting." 

fi:;'':: ::r?'.:j':::: V-^ ■si-j-iz'mvi^'. 


The colour of buildings has next to be considered ; and this, of course, 
varies with the materials of which they are built, from the light and broken 
yellow of stone to the deep red and brown of bricks and tiles. The warm 
gray, varied by broken colours of still greater warmth, is very agreeable 
when contrasted with the deep greens of the surrounding trees ; sometimes 
also the richer tones of the sandstones have an equally good effect 

In ruins, those greenish-yeUow tones, the result of damp, may be intro- 
duced with effect ; but in representing inhabited houses they should if 
possible be avoided, as they give an appearance of unhealthiness or stagna- 
tion, which has at all times a tendency to excite very disagreeable sensations 
in the mind. 

The mode of handling the brush and materials should be vigorous and 
firm ; and as this description of study is that in which the pupil should 
make his earliest efforts in colour, two examples are given in Plate 15, 
which, with the addition of the russets and warm tones in Plate 13, wiU 
serve to explain the colours employed. 

A careful outline having been made of some rustic shed, such as is 
represented in Fig. 1, Plate 15 (a view among the slaty rocks of North 
Wales), the brush is filled with a warm gray tint of the middle degree of 
strength, that is, neither the extreme dark nor the brightest colour. With 
this tint the general tone is given with a deliberate and yet firm touch, 
leaving all the edges of the different tints of the right form ; thus producing 
at once the shapes and divisions of the rocks and stones, and leaving the 
sparkling lights to be afterwards toned down by the use of some more 
decided colour. In this way the drawing of all secondary lines is made 
without any previous outline of each particular tile or stone. It is an 
important point that the pupil should effect this with a firm and full 
brush, as he will thus avoid that feeble, hesitating manner, the result of 
timidly filling up a previous outline. The colour is then changed, either 
by washing the brush or taking another chained with portions of rich 
warm burnt sienna, yellow ochre, &c. ; and the sparkling lights left 
appear to be parts of the mortar, new tiles, &c. patched in. Lastly, the 
deeper tones and cast shadows are put in, and the brush dragged over 
some portions with slightly varied glazings of grays or greenish tones. 


Should the distant edge of the roof be too hard, it may be subdued by 
touching it with a little water, and rubbing it off with the painting-cloth. 
In all these foreground parts of the picture, much of the brilliancy and 
richness of the effect result from the first firm and decided touches com- 
bining with slight yet constant changes of pure colour on the point of the 
brush, and the blending these together by the process of dragging the 
colours over the various parts. Fig. 2 is another example of this kind of 
handling ; the colours of the roofs, being richer and deeper in tone, contrast 
well with the warm green of the elder bushes about them. Perhaps these 
elementary examples are scarcely so simple and broad in their treatment as 
the first blottings-in of a water-colour drawing ; but as in colour-printing 
all the colours and vehicles are not so transparent as in water-colours, some 
allowance must be made. Afterwards the richer and deeper tones are 
added, the lights remaining the same, but by contrast appearing much 
brighter. After this simple example, the student should select some old 
decayed roof, greatly altered in form and colour by age and weather. 
Many such are still to be found : one, of which we give a description, was 
near Fairlight, Hastings ; an old red-tiled roof, but much varied by yellow 
and gray lichens, which were disposed with reference to the hollows formed 
by the sinking in of the roof between the timbers. In drawing with the 
pencil, these hollows are frequently marked with greater force, and thus the 
indication of the gradual settling of the roof given. In this instance the 
vivid yellow and gray lichens attract the attention first ; but it would be 
better to commence with the dull red and subdued gray of the original tiles, 
leaving the lights pure paper. The pigments used might be Indian red or 
brown madder and indigo for the red tiles ; then cobalt and a little black 
on the tip of the brush, with the remains of the fii*st tint — and with these 
varieties of the graver colours secure the forms, and draw the disposition 
and bends of the ridges and tiles of the house towards the eaves; and lastly, 
when these tints are dry, take brown pink, with Indian yellow or gamboge, 
for the mosses, tinging them in spots with purple lake or madder : for the 
most brilliant lichens, chrome, Naples yellow, and lemon yellow, will be 
found not at all too brilliant, if the building be near at hand and in 
the sun. 


To assist the pupil in his reference to Plate 13, a few of the most useful 
mixtures of pigments are added, remarking that much positive colour is not 
desirable in buildings ; on the contrary, they are more agreeable to the eye 
when their tones are neutral in character, or at times slightly varied by 
those of warm russet or grays. Even the red of tiles and bricks, though 
affording in reality as pleasing a contrast to the green of vegetation as the 
red dress of a figure, is not easily introduced ; red, however, when broken 
in tone by time, or introduced in detached mosaic work, as in some of the 
buildings in Venice, is very harmonious. 

The tones of buildings in limestone and other light-coloured stones may 
be imitated with yellow ochre, yellow ochre and hroion madder, yellow ochre 
and syfia, brovm madder and indigo, and black, according to the degree of 
coldness required. Raw sienna, used instead of yellow ochre, produces more 
of a transparent tone, accompanied with a slight inclination to greenness. 
(See Plate 13, Figs. 15 and 21.) 

For stone of a deeper colour — such as granite, slate, &c. — or other stone 
in shadow, light red, Indian red, or hroion madder, with sepia, indigo, or 
black; for cooler tones, Vandyke brown or sepia, with indigo or French 
blue ; the same, with the addition of a little laJee, ot purple madder, to give 
a slight increase of warmth. Bricks and tiles are rarely painted of the 
colour they actually appear when new and close at hand ; but as seen when 
either mellowed by age, and the tones produced by various mosses or lichens 
constantly growing on them, or deepened by smoke and patched with dif- 
ferent colours. In this state they become picturesque. Their colours in 
light are chiefly founded on mixtures of burnt sienna, with yellow ochre or 
Indian yellow, brown madder, light redy sepia, &c. (See 16, 17, 22, and 23.) 
In shadow, the colours selected should partake of the rich warm grays — such 
as burnt sienna and Vandyke brown, brown madder or pvrple madder, with 
indigo or French blue, brovm madder, and yellow ochre with black. 

It must be borne in mind that a similar firmness in the handling, and a 
proportionate degree of purity in the tints, must be used on buUdings in 
the middle distance. The colours selected may not be so strong, and may 
partake more of the gray ; but the edges are to be equally defined, clear, 
and pure — not made with lines, but formed by the edges of tints. Suppose 


The student who, ignorant of the collateral branches of his art, would 
nevertheless aim at pictorial representation, may be likened to a person who, 
indififerently acquainted with short-hand, should yet attempt to i*eport a 
speech ; for as the latter would be obliged to pause at each word to recollect 
the characters necessary to form it, and thus lose the spirit of the oration, 
so the former, while stopping to search for the means of effect, would fail to 
catch the fleeting beauties of the landscape. 

Perhaps there are no circumstances under which rocks can be more 
eflectively studied than when their surface has been laid bare by the action 
of water in one or more of its various forms ; as, for instance, that of 
waves impelled by the ever-varying forces of the wind against the clifls of a 
sea-boimd shore, or of the more uniform rush of the foaming torrent as it 
sweeps down the mountain s side. Deprived of their covering of earth and 
vegetation, varieties in the formation of different rocks become more conspi- 
cuous, and the peculiarities of each description can be carefully observed. 
Mr. Twining says, " It is chiefly with reference to stratification that a large 
portion of rocks obtain marked and decided characters. This very general 
condition presents itself under the greatest variety of forms, whether it be 
in the magnitude, the disposition, or the distinctness of the stratified beds. 
At times the Jayers appear on so reduced a scale as to become objects of 
detail in the bank or broken fragments which form the foreground of a 
picture. Elsewhere they are so large that they are visible to the eye on a 
distant mountain, and influence its character, and to some extent its form ; 
the connection being in many cases easily traced between the dip of the 
strata and the inclination of the mountain's slope or ridge. Thus, when 
the red sandstone forms the covering of mountains of a different formation, 
one remarks that they have flattened summits, which form inclined terraces, 
bordered by deep precipices. The slope of these terraces is always parallel 
with the strata of the red sandstone and with the slope of the formation on 
which they rest." 

Landslips and great falls of earth afford also good opportunities for the 
study of the strata and their covering of vegetation, wherever huge blocks 
or fragments retain the position and form which they assumed when broken 
by the violence of the concussion. Whoever has passed a day among the 

ROCKS. 191 

melancholy ruins of the Eossberg, and remarked the massive fragments and 
extraordinary positions of the conglomerate rocks, will at once perceive how 
different is their present appearance from what it was when they formed a 
part of the sloping sides of the moimtain. Another landslip, caused by the 
undermining effects of water, is seen in the valley of Meyringen ; and in this 
the strata are waved and contorted into a great variety of forms. Again, 
an excellent opportunity for study is presented by the fall of large masses of 
the red sandstone cliffs in the neighbourhood of Loch Eanza, Isle of Arran ; 
and the author must be permitted to add, that, for the study of geology 
combined with picturesque beauty, that island affords most abundant sources 
of interest. 

In road-side cuttings, quarries, or excavations, the artist wiU also find 
innumerable opportunities for examining the strata, and giving a few lines 
in the foreground with decision and truth ; and even where rocks are broken 
down into debris, he will still be able, by referring to their original colours, 
to give the prevailing tone of the whole mass. 

The study of rocks thus exposed will enable the student to decide upon 
the original position of the fragments so frequently found lying in the fore- 
groxmd, the nature of the rQck of which they formed part, and consequently 
to indicate the direction of the lines of their stratification, even when not at 
once evident; whereas, without an acquaintance with their structure, he 
might be confused by their being strewn here and there by some convulsion 
of nature far from the spot where they were originally placed. 

The young artist must give careful attention to this particular portion of 
his study ; and he may be assured that by so doing he wiU be amply repaid 
for his labour. It merely requires those general habits of observation and 
industry which every one ought to possess ; and from these objects present- 
ing firmness of outline and decision of character, accompanied by that valu- 
able quality of remaining unchanged either in form or colour, in the course 
of his practice he wiU gain continual accessions of power, and qualify himseK 
to attempt those parts of the picture which, like trees, water, and clouds, 
require the facility of generalising forms and colour, at the same time com- 
bined with increased ability in the execution. 

Artists as well as amateurs are too much in the habit of boasting of the 


short time which their studies have cost them. In first attempts, the ques- 
tion of time ought not to come into consideration, the quality of the work 
when complete being aU-important. The author, while yet a tyro, being 
engaged in company with Stanfield, and other artists, in taJdng a sketch of 
the East Cliff, Hastings, well recollects that his own study was finished in 
three hours; that of Stanfield occupied seven. The result, as the reader 
may suppose, neither ministered to the vanity of the younger artist, nor 
added to his progress so much as it should have done. 

Some rocks afford the artist more opportimities of showing their struc- 
ture than others ; and, owing to this prominence of character, they seem to 
require a corresponding accuracy and system in their delineation. Such 
are the slate and schistose rocks, which present forms more angular and 
stratification more strongly developed than many others : they may be 
studied with great ease about the bed of the Conway and other streams in 
North Wales. It must be remarked, that rocks of this kind, viewed from 
different directions, appear under totally different characters ; one side pre- 
senting a broad, even, and unbroken surface, the other divided into innu- 
merable layers and lines. Although the colour of these rocks always verges 
on the cool gray, and the nature of the stratification produces many parallel 
lines, they are nevertheless very beautiful In practice of this kind, it will 
be seen how constantly an artist's thoughts ought to be engaged on his 
work. On examining rocks subjected to the action of torrents, he will 
generally find their surfaces rounded off or convex ; but when situated so 
that an eddy is formed, concavities, and even in some instances circular 
holes, can be observed, — the latter caused by the water continually whirling 
round small fragments, some of which may be found still remaining at the 
bottom. The colour is likewise subject to alterations, being greatly affected 
by the alternation of drought and moisture, and the consequent variety in 
the growth of lichens, mosses, or plants. 

Granite is usually to be distinguished by the massive squareness of 
its forms; though when in positions where it has been exposed for a 
length of time to the action of the elements, it presents a smooth and 
rounded appearance. Its character of durability, and its imperishable 
nature, are well shown in the rocks towering above the Mer de Glace, called 

I ^ 

ROOKS. 1 93 

Les Aiguilles ; it is seen under a different form, but equally durable, in the 
huge boulders and tors on Dartmoor. Hard as it is in texture, it has been 
subject, in ages long past, to alterations of form occasioned by slips and 
fissures, which have thrown whole masses out of their original position. 
These changes call for careful attention on the part of the student, other- 
wise he may, by making these accidents too prominent, give a false idea of 
the general direction of tlie strata. Again, there is this peculiarity in the 
colour of granite, — one kind is a cool, another a warm gray : *both, however 
are produced by small spots of colour, differing in degrees of purity and, 
tone, sprinkled together ; viewed at a distance, the tints appear blended into 
one homogeneous tone. Both varieties may be seen together in the coping- 
stones and balustrade of Waterloo Bridge. The prevailing tone of granite 
is, however, greatly varied by the different coloured mosses and lichens 
growing on it, more particularly in those situations where it is subject to 
moisture, and partially sheltered. 

Limestone presents more variety of form and colour than most rocks ; it 
changes much by exposure to the weather, having at fii'st a- cool gray tone, 
but afterwards becoming much warmer and richer. By its varied and sunny 
hues, it greatly enhances the beauty of the landscape, whether introduced 
in the natural state of cliffs and rocks, or in the artificial form of ruins. It 
is much affected by the action of water, which causes stains and marks to 
extend to great distances, either in a vertical or horizontal direction ; these 
discolorations, passing over irregular surfaces, joined to the lights and sha- 
dows of unequal intensity, give many opportimities for truthfully portraying 
its character. The marble limestone of North Devonshire and Dorsetshire 
has sometimes a very extraordinary waved and streaked appearance. Turner, 
in his drawing of "Lulworth Cove," has given a fine example of this 
formation, beautifully rendered in line-engraving by Cooke. Other plates 
of this great artist's "Southern Coasts" afford good opportunities for 
observing how careful he was in his drawings of cliffs and rocks. The 
student is more particularly referred for studies to those named the " Isle 
of Portland," « Tintagel Castle," and the " Land's End." 

The sandstone rocks and cliffs of Hastings are rich in colour, varjdng 
from pale grayish tones, such as might be imitated with yellow ochre and 



ivory black, or yellow ochre, a little indigo and crimson lake, to deeper 
tones of brown or purple madder, with French blue, varied with raw sienna. 
When the detached masses of ^ndstone rock are wetted with the waves 
this latter colour greatly predominates. The shingle on the beach consists 
chiefly of debris of the rocks above, slates washed from the rubbish heaps of 
the town, flints with scattered scollop and oyster shells. The prevailing 
colour, therefore, will be raw sienna, with darker and cooler grays inter- 
spersed. As the beach is washed by the advancing tide, the colour is en- 
riched and deepened ; but in calm weather a perceptible difference is seen 
in the water within a few feet of the extreme edge : it is there rendered 
rather more opaque and cooler by innumerable bubbles of air coining up 
out of the dry beach ; and these, being carried back a yard or two in small 
round patches, contribute to form the foam of the waves. In rough weather, 
the air-bubbles are so largely increased by the dash of the waters that these 
smaller contributions are unnoticed. Foam produced by the waves of the 
sea lasts much longer than when the result of a waterfall ; the colour also 
of the former is yellower and richer in tone. The moment when the wave 
has been hurled on the beach, and the foam and spray risen to its greatest 
height, appears the most favourable to the artist's study ; he should then 
impress its general form and appearance on his memory. In certain parts 
of this coast pipeclay washes up, and gives an opacity and muddiness to the 
water very different from the appearance produced by the foam. 

The chalk formation, although charming in the distant cliff, as in extended 
sea-views of our island, is generally too little varied either in form or colour 
to be of much use in the fore-part of a picture ; it requires great skill in ar- 
ranging both the composition and the masses of light and shade in order to 
render pictures containing large portions of it at all agreeabla Other rocks 
having dark or heavy colqurs are quite as difficult to introduce with good 
effect ; among such are the red sandstone, with its heavy monotonous tone, 
and the deep purply gray and black hypersthene, so overpowering in its 
effect on the Cuchullen Hills, in Skye. The depth of these local colours 
can best be represented when the mountains are in light, for in shadow the 
peculiar tones would not appear so strongly marked. 

However, in all these varieties of rocks, the artist must consider what 

ROCKa 195 

amount of interest is likely to be imparted to his works by the features of 
the different formations which he finds in nature. To copy all the minor 
details would be impossible ; he can, in fact, notice only those portions that 
give point and character to the scene. With this view, therefore, he must 
firmly impress on his mind those characteristics of rocks which owe their 
origin to the action of the elements, of the restless sea, or the gushing 
stream. All these points, when copied with truth, contribute to the charm 
of the picture, the chief interest of which must eventually consist in that 
union of beauty and simplicity alone suited to the general comprehension. 

Although some details of the way in which rocks should be represented 
have been given in the notes on Sketching from Nature, yet it will be useful 
to the young student to give some additional remarks on the mode of work- 
ing this portion of the pictura The character displayed by rocks in general 
is most decided ; their angular forms, their distinct and easily recognised 
varieties of strata and of colour, combined with much dissimilarity in the 
way in which their original colour is affected by exposure to moisture and 
the growth of lichens, give us the power of representing them with that 
boldness and truth which their nature requires. Solidity, hardness, opacity, 
angularity, must be expressed in every line and tint The materials of the 
water-colour painter are, it must be confessed, not the best for this purpose ; 
therefore, to compete with the oil-painter in this portion of the picture, and 
conquer this deficiency as much as possible, we must carefully select such 
substances, and modes of using them, as afford the greatest amount of 

The general tone of rocks will be found to be grays of varying qualities, 
and, unless illuminated by a very brilliant sun, considerably darker than the 
grays of the clouds ; but if these tones are made with the same pigments as 
those used for the latter, they will look poor and thin. Instead, then, of 
cobalt and the lakes, or cobalt and vermilion or liffht red, we must take pig- 
ments possessing more body and power, not rejecting even such as are semi- 
transparent or turbid. With a bold touch and full brush, we should lay on 
these first tints all over the masses of rock, to the apparent neglect of the 
smaller divisions, and even of the light and shade ; then, to give more variety 
and richness to this ground colour, we should repeatedly vary it by taking 



up other harmonising colours, floating them in while wet In this way we 
may sometimes avoid showing any distinct form or angle, and yet produce 
the effect of a curved surface, or a surface having varied quantities of light 
or colour. 

Let us suppose, for example, that in imitating masses of granite lying 
on a desolate moor, such as is depicted in Plate 16, Dartmoor, the general 
tone of which is gray, we fill the brush with burnt sienna and indigo, and a 

little crimson lake; we may then, without replenishing it with these, take 


up hrown madder and indigo, which will harmonise with those already used, 
and yet give variety of tone. In this way yellow ochre and sepia may be 
changed for Vandyke hrown and indigo, or hrown madder and sepia. These 
rich, deep-toned, and variously modulated ground tints afford an excellent 
basis for either the warmer transparent colours or those more opaque, as 
well as supplying a solid tone from which to take our lights. If any of the 
tones of the rocks should be similar to those of the sky or distance, it will 
be advisable to change those on the rock by producing variety in the tex- 
ture, if not in the colour ; a tone obtained by small portions of pure colour, 
mingled or interspersed, separates immediately from a flat tone in the dis- 
tance, apparently of the same general hue. This stippling or dappling in of 
pure colours, combined with the production of granulation by scraping out 
with a razor, and then touching down the lights thus obtained, gives an 
entirely different character to the tones ; and by these means the distances 
are preserved without resorting to strong oppositions, either of colour or 
light and shade. 

The fii*st tints of rocks will often appear too dark ; for, being put in 
before the loose foliage, grass, or the other tints surrounding them, they 
are contrasted with the white paper alone ; but when the shadows of the 
trees, &c. are added they appear much lighter. By putting in large 
masses of colour with boldness, feebleness and dryness of style are avoided, 
the general effect is at once produced, and great breadth is the result. The 
shadows and markings should, when the first tint is dry, be done with 
transparent colours, sometimes warmer and occasionally cooler than the 
first. Thus, over a cool gray rock of Indian red and indigo, tints represent- 
ing the moss, or any of the wanner portions, may be laid on, composed of 

ROCKS. 197 

raw sienna and brotcn madder, or Indian yellow and Vandyke broton, or 
broton pink. Care, however, should be taken to avoid blackness and cold- 
ness in making these additions. Should the shadowed side appear to want 
reflected light, a portion of the first colour may be rubbed off, and some 
other warm and transparent or semi-transparent colour added. 

All these delicate variations cannot be produced at first, for the result of 
such efforts would be only feebleness and thinness. The fissures and mark- 
ings are now to be put in, producing firmness and crispness in the outline 
more by bringing up one tint with a decided edge against another than by 
any strong line, which looks artificial. If these markings, clefts, and fissures 
can be introduced, having in them variations of light, shade, and colour, as 
well as reflected light, great truth in the detail will be given, the breadth 
remaining uninjured. The final touches, comprising the putting on of light 
tones or smaller patches, with body colour and some of the warmer pig- 
ments ; the rubbing out with water and a cloth, or scratching out lights, 
and then toning them down either with opaque or transparent pigments, — 
will give richness, variety, and opacity to the surface in light, while the 
shadows will be kept transparent and warm. 

The effect at which the student must aim will be better understood, if he 
wiU at the commencement of his study take the trouble of going quite close 
to the mass of rock he wishes to represent, and examine well the different 
surfaces and tints. He wiU find that, although the general tone may be 
cool or warm gray, inclining to red, purple, green, or yellow, yet it is greatly 
modified by masses of rich greenish mosses, dark brown lichens, and even 
rendered lighter in parts by brilliant yeUow or white lichens in rounded 
patches ; in fact, that no considerable portion of the mass is of the same 
uniform tint. After this he should complete his examination by retiring 
slowly from the object^ noticing how the colours are blended and harmonised 
together at different distances. The habit of generalising gained by such 
practice will be found extremely valuable. 

For specimens of mixtures suitable for rocks, the student is referred to 
that portion of the table of grays comprising the deeper tints. It may, 
however, be mentioned, that indigo, with light red, Indian red, brotcn mad- 
der, or burnt sienna and lake, produces cool gray tones ; Vandyke brown or 


tepia, with indiffo or French blue, grays partaking of the green tones ; for 
warmer tones, yellow ochre, light red, and hurnt sienna may be mixed with 
Indigo or French blue with raw sienna and Vandylee brown for glazing : in 
fact, by keeping in mind the difference in opaque and transparent pigments, 
most of them can be used, taking care at all times to avoid blackness. 

In concluding these remarks on the study of rocks, we may direct the 
student's attention to the forest of Fontainebleau, where he will see fine 
trees and rocks combined ; but he must not expect to find the falling streams 
or slaty rocks of North Wales, for the rocks are sandstone, and not much 
varied in colour ; the soil also being sandy, there is no water : nevertheless 
there is much to interest the lover of nature in the fine old monarchs of the 
woods and in the wild goi^es, the least artificial portions of the forest. 
Amongst these, the gorge D'Egremont and Bas Breaa appear to present the 
most variety of incidents, aboundingwith picturesque white cliffs and a fine 
point de vue, which affords an extensive survey of the surrounding country ; 
but in theVallon des Pdntres and Goige de Neffleurs there are some of the 
finest trees in the forest. One of these, with fine scattered masses of rock, 
is so well known, and is so great a favourite, that a sketch of it is given in 
the accompanying vignette. 

SECTION V. (Mnh'fl««I.)_ WATER. 

ices tliat can be devoted to this sub- 
icuoiis of its pictorial attributes only 
we must conlinfi our remarks more 
licli the artist can hope to imitate 
lability of success. It is indeed a 
ult part of his study, and some hesi- 
een felt by all who have attempted 
represent the different qualities or 

! influence of light and air, presents 
temselves, and truly wonderful from 
tlie enOless diversity of fonne it can assume To de- 
pict water under some of these conditions would appear at first sight 
to offer no difficulty to the landscape-painter; but a careful examination 
will prove that great attention is requisite to enable him to represent it 
with truth and power. It must be studied under every aspect, — in those 
states likely to escape notice when, as mista, clouds, and rain, it becomes 
almost part of the atmosphere ; and when, in perfect repose and solitude, 
the crystal lake, embosomed amid trees and mountains, reflects surrounding 
objects on its glassy surface, and brings as it were the heavens down into 
the bosom of the earth, and unites them in one harmonious whole. Again, 
when beauty rises into grandeur, and a sensation of sublimity is excited by 
the boundless ocean, the type at once of endless space and unceasing motion, 
the artist must still in all humility study nature under every phase, gather- 
ing inspiration and encoun^ement even while he feels the immeasurable 
superiority of the work of nature to any possible imitation frvm the hand 
of man. 


In commencing the study of water, under that aspect oflTering the least 
difficulty in its representation, — the cahn lake or pool, — its most important 
peculiarities must be examined : its colour, when pure or tinged by sub- 
stances contained in it ; its transparency, reflecting power, — all those quali- 
ties, in short, which are shown in degrees of strength varying according to 
the constant alteration it undergoes. 

Pursuing our study systematically, we find that water, even in its purest 
state, causes great changes of colour in all substances over which it either 
rests or flows, generally rendering them deeper and richer in tone. The 
appearance of it when pure is again varied by the colours of the objects over 
-which it flows being visible through it ; and when to these variations is 
added the fact that its natural colour is liable to be aflfected by vegetable or 
earthy substances contained in it, rendering it more or less yellow, green, 
blue, brown, or turbid, according to the nature of the matter held in solution, 
with many other influences to be hereafter considered, it is evident that its 
study requires no small degree of earnest attention. 

A portion of the difficulty of representing water may be overcome by 
acquiring the habit of copying it faithfully from nature, with the lights and 
colours either belonging to itself or reflected in it, whether the latter be of 
the sky or of surrounding objects. In order to command success in this, 
the laws of reflection should be studied, and the angle of vision in regard to 
the surface of the water remarked : thus analysing as it were the difierent 
effects, and noticing the colour of water itself when over some substance 
known to be white ; then having examined the colour of substances over 
which it is seen, — such as rocks, sand, beds of weeds, &c., — ^the result of the 
additional colour. of the water must be observed, and in particular the 
student should learn to discriminate and represent with truth the difference 
between reflections of colours and lights and shades of the surrounding 
objects, — such as mountains, rocks, trees, plants, — and the sharp reflections 
on the glassy surface of the lights of the sky or sun. Shadows also require 
attentive consideration ; if the water be turbid, they wiU be readily dis- 
tinguished passing away on the surface in a direction opposite to that of the 
sim ; but if it be perfectly pure, they will pass through it to the bottom, and 
thus become mingled with the colour of the water and reflections. Light 

WATER. 201 

reflected by objects beneath, in passing through coloured water, is very dif- 
ferent from that reflected from the surface ; the latter being generally cool, 
like the lights on a polished mirror, while the former is rich and warm, and 
may be produced by transparent colours. 

The transparency of water is not always easy of representation. If we 
are looking down on it when shallow, we can easily perceive and imitate it ; 
but on looking along the surface of deep and clear water, it appears at a 
first glance more difficult, because the idea must be conveyed that we can 
look down to the bottom if we wish, but that without an effort the eye only 
passes over the surface. In consequence of this accumulation of difficulties, 
we are glad to avail ourselves of all legitimate means to assist in showing 
the varied qualities of water : thus boats and other objects floating on it are 
very useful, as, when looking under the dark bottom of a boat, we can often 
discern the depth of water, or even fish and other objects within it. 

The colour of all substances is muQh altered when seen through water — 
those which are light will appear least changed ; again, owing to the portion 
of objects reflected being generally underneath and in shadow, while we, 
placed above them, see more of the upper part in sunlight, the light and 
shade of the reflected parts will appear different from those of the real object 
offered to our view : thus trees in light may have their under branches in 
shadow reflected, but the upper branches in light will not be so much shown- 
Taking into account this alteration of the quantities of the different surfaces 
of objects reflected, the student must be aware that the quantity of an object 
seen in water will entirely depend on the position of the spectator : thus a 
person having his eye near the surface, and looking at a tree or rock on the 
margin of a lake, will find the length of its reflection in the smooth water 
exactly to correspond with the original object ; the summits of mountains 
having their bases hidden will also be reflected at a distance equal to the 
height they rise above the line of water at their base : but as the spectator 
changes his position, and rises, the reflection is graduaUy curtailed by the 
hiding of the lower part of the object, until, from such a point of view as 
the Eighi Culm, he sees nothing but the sky or clouds reflected in the mirror 
at his feet. 

The effect of ripples on water is important; small regular waves lengthen 


the reflection of objects, until, in the case of brilliant lights, — ^such as the sun, 
moon, lamps, &c., — it is conducted to the feet of the spectator ; we must 
recollect, therefore, that whenever these long reflections of the moon, &c., 
are introduced, they conduct downwards to the point of station. A ripple 
presents two surfaces, and may reflect two different objects or hues: for 
example, it may reflect, on the surface turned away fix)m the spectator, 
warm light, from the sun setting just opposite ; and on the other surface it 
may reflect the cool blue or violet hue of the sky behind. Most beautiful 
contrasts are afforded by these reflections, and they always harmonisa 

In practice, the treatment of water should follow that of the sky and 
clouds ; and as it associates much with them in colour, so it should partake 
with them of broad flat washes and tints laid on with a fuU brush, leaving 
decided edges of the right form. Softness and obscurity in outline is to be 
avoided here, more even than in clouds, as without clear and firm edges, 
given with a full brush rather than by a line added afterwards, no trans- 
parency will be obtained ; and although in looking at the iosm. and spray 
of waterfalls or cataracts it is not easy to perceive how such broken forms 
can be produced by laying on tints with defined edges, a careful examination 
will prove that there is no other means by which a good conclusion can be 
attained. Suppose, for instance, the student to begin with the first broad 
tints which he has to use in representing a smooth expanse of water, they 
will most likely be composed of cool indefinite gray tones, at a first glance 
appearing much like those of the sky ; but on examining them more care- 
fully, it will be found that, except in the brightest reflections and ripples, 
they are darker and more of a greenish hue ; yet in looking for the general 
tone with which to put in these first washes, the colour of the water must 
not be taken as it appears close to the spectator's feet, because that will 
partake of the colour of the bottom; for the eye, when looking down on 
any lustrous object, sees coloiu*s very differently from what it does when 
looking along its surface. The first tint should be rather grayer than the 
general tone, it will better represent the cool reflected lights of the sky and 
clouds ; and when the second and other tints are laid on, these lights will 
appear stiU cooler. The student, by turning to the table of grays, Plate 7, 
can make those variations which the greater depth of tone and additional 


•• -, 

WATER. 203 

colour, either contained in the water or transmitted through it from reflected 
light, requires ; thus he may in general substitute raw sienna for yellow 
ochre^ and hrovm madder for Indian red. Cobalt may still be used exten- 
sively for all the first tones ; but French bltie, Prussian blue, and indigo, are 
better for tones when near the eya The following mixtures may be em- 
ployed for first washes ; but the tints will of course depend much on the 
colour of the sky or clouds above them. 

The general tone of water will be best given with raw sienna alone ; or, 
if deeper or greener, with brovm madder, Vandyke broum, or Indian yellow. 
All these tones may be cooled by mixing cobalt blue, French blue, or indigo ; 
but if the water be very dark-coloured or in shadow, broton pinJc^ purple 
madder, and Vandyke brown can be used. Sea-weed, or other plants under 
water, may be painted in with these colours, and glazed with burrU sienna 
and indigo, or indigo and lake, or sepia. 

When water in motion forms a portion of the landscape, it always pre- 
sents great diflSculties to those who attempt it without system or order : to 
imitate shapes, tints, and colours so continually changing requires a disci- 
plined eye and hand ; and for this reason, it should not be attempted until 
by repeated efforts the student has acquired the power of remembering the 
forms and colours of any object he has once attentively observed. Even 
when he has gained this power, he requires considerable knowledge of effect ; 
so that, having selected the light and shade from the scene before him at 
some fortunate moment, he may not be diverted from the complete picture 
impressed on his mind by any subsequent changes occurring in the eflFect. 
To illustrate this mode of study, and lessen difficulties, the author has 
drawn, in Plate 17, a wave breaking on some rocks. One wave has just 
broken, throwing up large masses of foam and spray. "With a rapid but 
truthful pencil the horizon, the form of the rock, and the advancing wave, 
are indicated. With his brush full of a neutral tint of indigo and Indian 
red, or brovm madder, but slightly varied as it approaches the near portion 
by a little raw sienna, the artist puts in a tint all over the subject, excepting 
only the highest lights, which he leaves of the tnie shape, sharp and clear : 
these are few in number, for it must be recollected that extreme lights and 
darks are in nature small in proportion to the middle tones. The subject 


will then appear something like Fig. 1 ; a second tint follows, Fig. 2 ; 
leaving besides the highest lights many others over which the first has 
passed. In this second tint some variety may be introduced without alter- 
ing either its breadth of light and shade or general tone. It may be made 
with French blue and crimson lake, with a little raw sienna for the distant 
water ; but when nearer, indigo and raw sienna, with a little madder, may 
be used : the first tint will be the cooler or grayer of the two, as the reflected 
lights on the waves are to be left of this tona The third tint, Fig. 3, adds 
the greatest darks, which may be varied in power as well as in colour. On 
the under part of the curling wave, they may be made with indigo and raiv 
sienna, or indigo and Vandyke bronm. It will require considerable attention 
to give the rocks an appearance of hardness, with rough and broken surfaces ; 
tolerably pure colours of the secondary order may be stippled on, and by 
being thus intermixed will add to the depth, without blackness. The foam 
and spray may be obtained by the process of wetting with a brush some of 
the tints, and rubbing out with a cloth or india-rubber ; the more separated 
spray must either be scraped out with a razor or sharp penknife, or put on 
with opaque white. In using solid white, it must be remembered that it 
represents the highest lights only, and on ripples or waves these are gene- 
rally mere lines ; if they are put on too broad, the water will no longer look 
transparent, but opaque and milky. Students should be careful not to 
introduce reflections of objects when, owing to the roughness of the surface, 
they would not appear. Waves broken into different surfaces will, of 
course, have their reflecting powers much disturbed and diffused ; so that no 
distinct form — such as a buoy, a basket, or mast — can in such cases present 
an inverted image of itself. 

Boats and shipping are most important accessories to marine subjects, 
adding great interest and life, while at the same time they assist in indi- 
cating the direction and force of the wind. It must be acknowledged diflS- 
cult to draw them with the requisite truth, as the least deviation in line, or 
fault in perspective, causes a clumsy or heavy appearance, easily detected by 
any one accustomed to observe them, and exceedingly annoying to a nautical 
man. In his first essays, the student should begin with a boat lying on a 
sea-shore, such as is shown in Plate 8 ; the inclination of the keel on the 

WATER. 205 

beach should first be drawn by a straight line, beginning at the stem or foot 
of the bow, and passing through to the stem ; another line parallel to this 
may now be drawn through the centre of the boat, beginning at the bow, to 
the middle of the stem at the rudder ; with this the seats, or thwarts, will 
be at right angles, the rowlocks, pins, or places for the oars, rather before 
these. With the aid of these most important points, the whole will be kept 
in perspective. The general tone of the outside of boats is a rich brown, 
occasioned by the colour of the pitch or other substances with which they 
are covered. With Vandyke hroum or raw sienna these tones can be imi- 
tated very closely. The colour of the inside is generally different, being 
painted with opaque colour, and often of a dull red hue, which harmonises 
well with the subdued green of the sea. 

Sails and rigging of shipping, and nets of boats, require great attention. 
In this study, like most others, a few notes made under the instruction of a 
practical sailor, on the position and uses of the masts, yards, rigging, and 
sails, will lead to the quickest and most correct modes of drawing them ; 
they should be represented not only in calms, but when acted upon by strong 
winds. Many most beautiful forms and lines are afforded on such occasions 
by the sails and ropes, contrasting well with the lines of the horizon and 
waves near at hand. The colour of sans, nets, and rigging is also of great 
importance, being generally produced by a kind of tanning or dyeing process 
with a dark brown infusion, such as catechu, bark, &c. They possess a rich 
tone, varying from light gray or yellow, when bleached by wind, rain, and 
sun, to the richest burnt sienna, broton madder, or Vandyke broton, when 
fresh dyed ; when light-coloured, and in sunlight, they materially assist the 
artist in affording opportunities for large masses of light> differing in shape 
from the clouds or waves, or contrasting with fine effect against the stormy 
sky or deeper coloured sails. Groups of boats, with their sails and nets 
hung about them, and baskets, tubs, anchors, &c. lying around, are among 
the most agreeable and picturesque of artists' studies. 

How much soever the reflections of objects may be affected by the broken 
surface of water, even to their utter obliteration, the colour of the sky, 
clouds, &c. above will always materially influence that of the water beneath. 
In a cloudless day, with the blue sky reflected, the sea will partake of that 


colour, gradually increasing in depth of tone as it approaches the horizon ; 
but owing probably to refraction, or diminished strength in the colours 
and shadows by aerial perspective, it will frequently again become lighter 
before it reaches the extreme extent of vision. This change of colour is 
also partly occasioned by the greater purity of the water and the position 
of the eye with regard to the surface : on looking down on waves at our 
feet, we perceive a small portion of warm light transmitted through the 
water, and also warm coloured substances, — such as sand, beach, weeds, 
&c., — ^floating in it, so that the foam itself may sometimes appear of a rich 
yellowish brown. 

Brilliantly illuminated clouds frequently cast long reflections on the sea^ 
considerably altering the colour ; also, by the same power of reflection, 
under a stormy cloud of a deep purplish gray a purple hue is visible on the 
sea beneath ; while under a warm glowing cloud in light a yellowish hue 
may be seen ; the whole, however, must be kept in harmony in the picture. 
There are some effects in which we observe that clouds do not impart 
their colour to the sea, but appecur to create a striking complementary con- 
trast ; thus, in the Mediterranean, we have often been surprised at the 
intense colour and decided form of an inky blot of shadow on the blue- 
green sea, and have found some difl&culty in tracing it to an apparently 
light filmy cloud over our heads. 

When the great varieties of colour observed in the sea ai'e caused either 
by reflection, transmitted light, or are the result of clouds immediately over 
the part composing the picture, in this case they axe easily understood ; but 
some of these differences are due to reflections of tones of the sky behind 
our backs : thus we have observed, when looking out to sea at Hastings on 
a stormy sunset, that a heavy bank of clouds over the sea was tinged with a 
delicate purply red from the sun behind us, while the sea beneath the cloud 
was in shadow and a decided green, thus forming a very harmonious con- 
trast of complementary colours. 

Great differences exist between the effect caused by water when finely 
divided, as in mists or in larger drops. Mists, fogs, and fine rain obscure 
the landscape most ; while heavy rain, in large drops, permits much to be 
seen through it. One cause of the admitted want of effect in the great 

WATER. 207 

fountains at the Crystal Palace may be owing to the jets being blown too 
much into mists, as well as being repetitions of the same forms and combi- 
nations, — not having also the advantage of fine masses of trees as a back- 
ground, when they would sometimes relieve light against dark, whereas 
now they generally show as a pillar of smoke or steam dark against a light 
sky. They seem to require larger and grander treatment, and more 

A waterfall or cataract should be treated with regard to the handling 
in a similar way to foam or broken waves. Amid the greatest apparent 
confusion of forms and tints, certain shapes will be detected more constsmtly 
repeated than others. These should be secured by tints having firm and 
decided edges ; for however unnatural these hard edges appear, they con- 
tribute much to the transparency of the whole when finished. Water that 
falls over a rock without sepcuration will appear dark in tone, showing some- 
thing of the colour belonging to it, and also permitting the dark colour of 
the rock to show through ; but when this is admitted behind it imme- 
diately appears lighter. When projected at once from a rock or cliff, 
water separates into gushes or waves, having the largest mass the most in 
advance, and the more transparent portion following. Plate 18 is an attempt 
to represent one of the most exquisitely beautiful of waterfalls, "The Staub- 
bach ;" but to aid us in noticing its chief beauties, we will quote Cheevers's 
poetical description. ** When seen in the early morning, glancing in the 
beams of the sun, just rising over the snowy summits of the Jung Frau and 
Silver Horn, while the rest of the valley of Lauterbrunnen still remains in 
shadow, it is most lovely. It has well been styled a sky-bom waterfall; for 
it springs from off the cliff, and waves about in its descent almost like a bird 
of paradise, throwing itself into the air from the brow of the mountain. It 
is customary to approach it until it almost appears to fall on the head ; but 
its extreme beauty is better seen and felt at a little distance. The eye then 
traces its course so long, and its movement is so checked by the resistance 
of the air and the roughness of the cliff, that it seems rather to float than to 
fall ; and before it reaches the bottom, dances down in ten thousand little 
jets of white foam, which all alight together as softly as a white-winged 
albatross on the bosom of the oceaa It is as if a million of rockets were 


shot off in one shaft into the air, and then descended together, some of them 
breaking at every point in the descent, and all streaming down in a combi- 
nation of meteors. So the streams in this fall, where it springs into the air, 
separate and hold their own as long as possible ; and then burst into rockets 
of foam, dropping down at first heavily, as if determined to reach the ground 
unbroken, and then dissolving into showers of mist so gracefully, so beau- 
tifully, like snow-dust on the bosom of the air, that it seems like a spiritual 
creation rather than a thing inert, material." After this glowing yet faith- 
ful description, it would appear almost hopeless to attempt to depict the 
Staubbach ; yet, as it is often sketched by students as well as aitists, we will 
describe the manner in which the original study, of which Plate 18 is a copy, 
was drawn. The outline being done, the first pure wash, consisting of cad- 
mium and crimson lake, is carried over the sky, and with the exception of the 
snowy peaks and upper part of the fall, may be blotted-in with greater force 
over the cliffs ; but as we draw near the base of the fall more gray should 
be taken up, composed of indigo and brown madder : these tints, or some- 
thing like them, are to be repeated, but gradually more grays should be 
introduced, until the whole tone of the rocks and mountains becomes darker 
than the sky. The general shape and direction of the water is left by the 
stronger tints ; and when these are dry, the waves, with their rocket-like 
heads, are drawn with a firm but delicate gray : two or three of these tints, 
each, however, having a firm edge, produce more appearance of mist and 
spray than many would suppose possible. Where the water is dissipated 
into thin spray, the colour of the rocks becomes more visible, the warmer 
rock tints being used for stippling-in. Careful use of the scraper and toning 
down with pure grays will also add to the indefinite character of the falling 
water ; but still it is desirable to retain something of the meteor-like heads, 
or waves, as without these it might lose much of the character of a fall. 
The most opaque or whitest part of the faU will be as it collects together on 
the dark rocks at the base ; the tints about which may be formed with sepia 
and indigo, hrown madder and indigo, with hrownpink in portions. AH the 
lower part of the picture is to be powerful and dark, but indistinct ; so that 
the eye is forced, as it were, upwards first, and descends with the water to 
the base. 



ai.n BUgiiJiui, Biije. presentation. The consideration of linear 

perspective terminates with the outline or composition ; but the study of 
aerial perspective must be continued throughout the whole progress of the 
picture, as, in fact, it not only embraces aU the numerous effects of atmo- 
sphere, denominated by artists "the keeping of the picture," but is of the 
greatest importance in all contrasts or oppositions, whether of light and 
shade or colour. It is therefore highly desirable that the attention of the 
student in colour should be first directed to the ezamination of the effects 
of air on the real landscape, so that he may be able in his picture to imitate 
or introduce the appearance of it in varied quantities proportionate to the 
diSerent dietauces. A pure atmosphere may be perfectly transparent and 

210 lanbscape-paiKting. 

colourless, presenting very little obstacle to our vision even when interposed 
between us and objects at great distances, as is evident in mountainous 
countries. In Italy, where the air is free from vapours, we can clearly see 
even minute objects when removed fer from the eye ; but in general, and 
particularly in our own climate, the air is so loaded with vapours of a bluish- 
gray tint that the appearance of distant objects is materially altered. The 
most careful examination and comparison is needed to convince us of the 
extent of this iteration. 

There are many causes which contribute to vary the tones of mountains 
or distant portions of the landscape. Few surfaces in nature are perfectly 
uniform in appearance to any considerable extent ; for the whole landscape 
is composed of objects differing considerably in colour, and the surfaces are 
also very unequally placed with regard to the light : so we have diversities 
of light and shade as well as colour, resulting from cavities, different kinds 
of rock or earths, and vegetation or foliage still more varied AU these 
separate colours become mingled together when viewed from a distance, and 
consequently produce an impression on the eye of some general tone or 
tint which is a kind of medium between the local colours most predomi< 
Bating ; and it is observable, that in Italy or in Switzerland, in consequence 
of the greater freedom from moisture and the attenuated atmosphere, we 
can very truly retain the local colours for a longer distance than in Eng- 
land, where much moist air usually exists. In drier countries, then, we 
must be on our guard that we do not overcharge the distance with too 
great a variety either of colours or detail ; for the limited power that we 
possess will not then permit us to represent the great difference that should 
exist between distance and foreground in our picture. In English land- 
scape, however, we should avoid always recurring to pure blue to express 
distance, but endeavour to accomplish it by delicate refinement and variety 
in the tones. To realize in our study the effect of the intervening body of 
air, differing in degrees of density and occasionally in tint, it may be ima- 
gined as divided into very delicate films or veils, placed at certain distances 
from us, depriving objects of the strength of their colour and shadows in 
proportion to the opacity or number of the intervening veils ; the lights are 
subdued until they become gray, and the shadows also, losing their strength, 


blend with the fonner in the extreme distance, and produce a monotonous 
tint of bluish-gray. In the foreground of the picture, the colours may be 
supposed to have their true force, the lights in this part being brightest 
and the shadows darkest. The distance of a hundred yards may be repre- 
sented by one veil, a mUe by a second, four miles by a third, and the 
extreme distance by a fourth. If four veils of this kind are interposed at 
relative distances, even in a room, some effect of the kind will be produced ; 
and it may be tried by using black cloth as the substance looked at This 
effect has been attempted, although of course with diminished results from 
the want of natural colour, in the heading of this section. The distant 
mountain on the left has the same outUne, only reversed, as the shed in the 
for^round ; yet how different in size do they appear I one coming close 
to the spectator, the other miles away. When by such experiments, com- 
bined with the study of the real effects in the open air, the student becomes 
aware how indispensable it is to represent atmosphere, he will never rest 
satisfied until he can imitate the effect in his pictures; and he will no longer 
entertain the idea, common to the young and uneducated, that green or red 
must always be painted as they appear when near at hand. 

To secure a general approximation to the natural effect of air, water- 
colour paintings are commenced in the manner described in Chapter III. 
Section III., on " the Mode of WorMng,** by laying on first washes of tints 
like those employed in the sky or distance ; the bluish-grays are gradually 
changed for those made with madders, and in the foreground blue is super- 
seded by yellow ochre or burnt sienna The whole subject is thus toned 
down with three or four washes, differing in d^rees of warmth and air, and 
prepared to receive the after-tones ; while the eye is not disturbed by masses 
of crude white paper out of harmony with the colour or distance. It is 
not, however, advisable to bring blues or grayish neutral tints into the fore^ 
ground, or to put in lights and shades with them, as was formerly the 
custom, because that practice destroys any chance of obtaining striking 
contrasts or pure colours ; and also, as we have but a limited scale of colour 
or power, those pigments which are so peculiarly suitable to produce the 
effect of air must be reserved for the sky and distanca 

In carrying out the aerial perspective of his picture, the student should 



turn from one object to another, and notice if the effect is gained : thus, 
from a rock or tree in the foreground, he should pass at once over a mile to 
the rocks or trees in contact with them in the picture, but far removed in 
reality ; he should examine his subject in every direction, whether passing 
from the foregroimd to the distance, or coming back again to the near parts, 
and ascertain that aU the objects, or even parts of objects, keep their places ; 
even the colour of the weather-stains on a house, or the tones of lichens on 
a mass of rock, must be represented in accordance with the distance at which 
they are seen. By this custom he will avoid relieving objects with equal 
degrees of strength against the aerial tones of the distance ; there should be 
space or air represented even between the branches of a tree — some appear- 
ing near, others farther oft It will be advisable in this examination to pass 
the eye up the boundary lines of the picture, and also by cutting a hole in a 
piece of paper, and placing it over each object, see whether its general tone 
is suitable to the position it holds, — whether the touch or character is too 
large, or the texture too much shown ; for even hiding all other parts of the 
picture, each object ought to have its true distance indicated to the eye. If 
the effect of aerial perspective has neither been secured by the first tints nor 
by the after-working, it can be assisted by touching with water, and taking 
out some of the dark portions, or by passing sometimes a wet brush over the 
texture, and so rendering it indistinct ; also by employing with great caution 
a little Chinese white, delicately warmed with light red, yellow ochre, or 
cadmium, if the effect desired is warm ; or a gray made with crimson-lake 
and cobalt may be used ; and by scumbling with these opaque tones, using 
a dry brush, a semi-opaque tint is produced, giving great air and distance. 
In this manner a warm ray of sunlight, loaded with reddish or orange tones, 
may be passed across a portion of the distance or the branch of a tree, 
giving a dusky and warm effect which cannot be obtained in any other way. 
In like manner, smoke can be better represented by scimibling these 
opaque tones over the dark colours of trees, &c., than by leaving any strongly 
defined shapes on the paper. 



v rv.. -.^ ""-^, "everlasting clouda." Well may he feel over- 

Uni Kofei, Tjroi. powercd at the task -which lies before him of 

attempting to embody the infinite variety of hues, the delicate gradatioDa 
of tints, they present. Their forma must be given with decision, yet with 
the utmost delicacy of touch ; their striking characteristics should be pie- 
served, while their graDdem remains nndiminished ; yet their position, aa 
belonging to the background, ought to be borne in mind, and tha 


interest they create should be of a kind entirely distinct from the emotions 
excited by objects in the foreground. 

The aerial tones required to represent the air, sky, and clouds, do not in 
themselves differ materially from the hues and tints necessary in the 
delineation of mountains and distance ; but the whole, when completed, 
should differ essentially in character ; for rays of light can penetrate the 
former in every direction, while, notwithstanding the extreme tenuity of 
the colour indicating them, the latter must dways appear solid. 

The chief means by which this important character can be obtained is 
by devoting our first and most earnest consideration to the outline of 
mountaina They should be most decided in form, though delicate in 
colour; no blurred or indefinite edges can be admitted, there not being 
any such in nature. If there is a difference in the tone of distant 
mountains, it is rather more firmly expressed at the summits or edges 
in contact with the sky or clouds, owing to the contrast which there 
occurs between solid and opaque bodies ; but the general mass of the 
tint should be devoid of any minute markings, because such details would 
not be distinguishable in the distance. 

The first attention, then, must be given to the outline of mountains, 
that being most important This varies of course with the nature of the 
rock of which they are composed ; granite, slate, and limeitone each 
possessing characteristic appearances peculiar to themselves, and not 
difiScult to distinguish at a distanca These different formations afford 
variety of line to compositions ; some presenting to the artist larger and 
grander forms than others. Thus granite is distinguished by massiveness 
and largeness of parts ; while slate is characterised by thin layers or strata 

The outline at the summits of mountains is frequently so diversified with 
inclinations or slopes at different angles and unequal quantities, that the 
eye is pleased with variety, while the impression of magnitude is main- 
tained. Obtuse angles of different degrees, alternating with slightly curved 
or broken lines, are constantly seen in those moimtains considered the 
most beautiful. Beauty of form must not be considered to depend only 
on a certain proportion of straight lines, angles, and curves, but in the 
power of expression which some forms have to indicate the character of 


the body delineated: thus fonns which all acknowledge as beautiful or 
graceful in the human figure would be far from deserving such epithets 
when applied to lines of mountains ; neither would the loose and flowing 
character of the touch for foUage be in any degree suitable for hills. 

In practice^ we shall find that the first washes of neutral tints, gene- 
rally composed of yellow ochre and brown madder, will be of great service 
if used with judgment They should be put in with great delicacy, and 
rendered aerial by repeated washings between each tint, care being taken 
to viary the quantity of the yeUow or the madder according to the tones 
which are to be placed over them. These preliminary tones can almost 
always be passed over the mountains or distance, as they are darker than 
the sky : without these tints to harmonise the whole, there would appear 
much crudeness in the colouring; they also assist in giving the solidity 
belonging to opaque bodies. It is not, however, necessary to confine our- 
selves strictly to the actual tints used for the sky ; for when passing these 
first washes over mountains, more richness and depth may be given, par- 
ticularly in descending from the summits towards the base, or in approach^ 
ing the middle distance, if the tints are worked with a full brush, and 
permitted to run into each other without the sudden separation caused by 
allowing them to dry; and at the time this is done the colour can be 
increased or modified by taking up other tones on the point of the brush. 
No mode of working will be so productive of aerial tones, and preserve the 
granulation of the paper so well, as leaving each tint to dry thoroughly, 
and afterwards washing it weU with plenty of water ; which carries off all 
earthy particles of the pigments that may have settled into the interstices 
of the paper, and also allows of washing up portions of colour which may 
be laid on too dark, and of obliterating any lines where tints may have 
joined : the granulation of the whole is, if lost, restored by this process, 
and an opportunity given to alter the tone, if necessary, by laying on a 
wash of some pure transparent colour of a difiTerent hue. In sketching 
from nature it is, however, not possible to resort to these washings; we 
must then trust more to the skilful management described in Blotting-in, 
" Mode of Working." It frequently happens that one transparent tint of 
pure colour passed over another like in character, but difiering in tone, 


will be better than mixing the two on the palette previously. It must, how- 
ever, be remembered that the colour last laid on will appear stronger in 
proportion to its depth : more transparency will result from a repetition of 
these apparently tedious processes than from giving the full depth by a 
strong tint at once. In respect to the extreme distance, when the horizon 
is visible, as at sea, the sky tones may be passed over it without leaving 
any smaller lights, as they can be better taken out afterwards. The middle 
distance is produced in the same manner, and with little variation of pig- 
ments, excepting the substitution of more powerful colours instead of those 
previously employed. 

By referring to the Table of Aerial Grays, Plate 10, many combinations 
of suitable pigments will be seen. For] the first wash, a neutral orange, 
composed of yellow ochre and brovm madder ; using more madder where the 
tones that follow are to be gray or blue, and yelloto ochre predominating 
where light and warm tones succeed. Greater brilliancy and purity are 
produced by rose or purple madder and cadmium ; but these qualities are 
more requisite in the sky than in moimtains or distances. "When parts of 
mountains are in sunlight, washes of light red and yellow ochre, or cad- 
mium, with lemon yellow, may be used. However light the tones of moun- 
tains appear, no opportunity should be neglected of comparing them with 
white paper placed in the same light ; for the amount of tone on objects is 
not evident to the eye unless we avail ourselves of such aids. By com- 
paring the strength of these tones, we shall learn to give them only that 
force that our limited power will allow, keeping them properly subservient 
to the brighter lights, for all must be in proportion : we work with pig- 
ments, and on paper, dull in comparison to the brilliancy of light In 
nature, an opportunity occurs of ascertaining the degree of tone or strength 
of colour there may be on mountains by noticing them when their summits 
are covered with snow, white being the only colour which does not alter 
by the interposition of pure air. 



mmi Biabod itMb w^ '^^ truth and beauty of nature. Tet, notwithstanding 
his ineufficiency, how delightful is the possession of a faculty enabling hint 
to perpetuate even a dim reflection of a scene, the loveliness of which has 
given him an intense feeling of pleasuie on beholding ! The labour of 
months, or even years, of study that must precede its full acquirement in 
all cases, — not even excepting those of the gifted few, in whom the pos- 
session of genius in some degree supplies the place of laborious applica- 
tion, — is most amply repaid by the attainment 

The study of nature is not the exclusive privilege of the accomplished 
artist : the beginner also, after acquiring a knowledge of perspective and 


a certain command over his materials, must, as the indispensable means 
of attaining facility in representing nature, study her features under the 
multiplied aspects presented to his view during the constant changes they 
underga The opportunity of thus going to the source of all natural beauty 
should be constantly used by the student, as while there, drinking the 
purest draughts of inspiration, he may supply himself with a store of 
thought for future use. Sir Joshua Reynolds observes, that " it is indis- 
putably evident that a great part of every man's life must be employed in 
collecting materials for the exercise of genius. Invention, strictly speaking, 
is little more than a new combination of those images which have been 
previously gathered and deposited in the memory : nothing can come of 
nothing ; he who has laid up no materials, can produce no combinations. 
The artist who has his mind thus filled with ideas, and his hand made 
expert by practice, works with ease and readiness." System and method 
are, however, necessary to enable him to derive the fall benefit of these 
mental and practical exercises ; for the experience of the author convinces 
him that time is often wasted in repeated and desultoiy efforts, undertaken 
without a clear conception of the object to be attained. Let the necessity 
of system and method be well understood in the first instance, and then 
let fuU consideration be given to the best and easiest modes of arriving 
at the result desired This will eventually not only lessen the labour of 
the student, but, by constraining him to define and reduce to practice the 
principles on which his art is founded, tend to his more rapid advancement. 
We advise the student to make choice, as his first sketch from nature, 
of some object of simple outline, or one where Hght and shade can be com- 
bined with form ; for objects of large and simple proportions, having few 
divisions in their parts, and these very decided, axe to be preferred : and 
as in this instance form is more important than colour, the latter should 
be such as not to interfere with his clear perception of the divisions or 
gradations of light and shade. In the first period of studying &om nature 
the objects should be near at hand : an old stone pump or horse-trough, 
a mass of rock, the end of a thatch-covered cottage with a few posts, or the 
lower parts of stems of trees, banks, &c., — aU these are excellent subjects 
for first efforts ; and as they occupy the foreground, no difficulty will arise 


from aerial perspective or intricacy of colouring. After some practice in 
sketching such objects, a foreground plant or group of plants, as burdocks, 
coltsfoot, &c., with a portion of bank, rock, or stones, to give variety to the, 
form and colour, may be attempted ; after these may follow groups of foli- 
age, combinations of rustic cottages, bridges, &c., with roads and trees. In 
this maimer the student becomes progressively acquainted with form, light 
and shade, and also with the variations of colour presented imder the 
influence of accidental light and shade ; he learns to recognise all objects, 
however hidden or altered they may be by effects of atmosphere, &c., even 
when they are scarcely to be distinguished in the middle or extreme dis- 
tance, because he has, by close inspection and careful imitation, become 
well acquainted with their true character and appearanca 

The next point should be to acquire the power of representing objects, 
or groups of objects, in the middle distance in conjunction with those in 
the foregroimd ; to compose their colours, tints, and shades, and to note 
the change produced on them by the atmosphere, &a At this distance, 
objects are sufficiently removed from the eye to permit the shadows thrown 
on them by other objects, or by clouds, to be observed, — causing much di- 
versity of effect Lastly, he should attempt the delicate tones of mountains 
and extreme distances, endeavouring to realize the space and grandeur of 
the scene, at the same time giving the true colouring exhibited under 
the varying influence of light and shada 

The author earnestly impresses upon the student the necessity of going 
to nature with an unprejudiced mind, and a taste cultivated by a constant 
consideration of the works of the best masters ; a perfect manipulation and 
power of using his instruments, and a thorough knowledge of the qualities 
of his pigments : and let him join to these acquirements the simplicity of 
a child to receive impressions, and a love of the truth constantly before his 
eyes in nature. With such a temperament and an enlarged view of his 
vocation, let him commence his study, and carefully copy those portions 
of nature he has selected, somewhat in the order in which they are men- 
tioned in this work ; and not merely one example of each, but several 
specimens, varying in position, in season, and in time of day : taking heed 
lest he become partial to any one, and unawares consider it a type of the 


whole ; for though it may be comparatively easy continually to paint similar 
scenes under similar effects, it would confer on him but little benefit to be 
constantly repeating the same studies. To draw repeatedly a single leaf or 
branch of an elm, at one time or season, would scarcely serve to give a true 
idea of the foliage ; to study only limestone rock, or only slate, wiU not be 
sufficient : the objects should be drawn at all times and with equal care, 
and thus mannerism wiU be avoided* If the Greeks had studied from one 
model or one man only, in one action, they would never have acquired the 
power and natural grandeur displayed in the Elgin marbles. They saw the 
human figure continually in action ; and, with perhaps fewer opportunities 
for the study of anatomy than the modems possess, they have produced 
works which still command our wonder and admiration. Taking such an 
enlarged and comprehensive view of the study of art, the student, after 
gaining a knowledge of form, will learn how he may leave it undefined,—^ 
after acquiring a knowledge of the natural colour of each object in the 
foreground in the larger view of nature, how it is dtered by air, reflection, 
and contrast. 

To represent, or rather endeavour to represent, all parts of a picture, 
with the forms as carefully made out as if seen through a magnifying-glass, 
is not the province of an artist. To consider the colour of trees as always 
green, or of bricks as always red, is to take an erroneous view of art. Let 
the student also try to represent Ughty air, and space^ and to give to each 
object in the picture the relative value it possesses in nature at the mo- 
ment he views it. 

As an illustration, we may refer to a delineation of the human figure. 
When clothed, the head, face, and hands generally claim notice in the first 
instance, as being the only parts uncovered ; of the face itself, the eye first 
strikes the attention, next the mouth, and so on with the other features. 
When the figure represented is nude, the outline, form, &c., rise in interest, 
compared with the face, which no longer engages the chief attention. In 
this manner, we observe how one part is at one time most conspicuous ; and 
again how, under other circumstances, it loses in interest, while the sur- 
rounding parts gain in proportion to its loss. 

The great desideratum is, the possession of a mind so educated, a glance 


60 comprelxensive, and a memory so good, that when once the subject has 
been seen under a perfect effect of light, shade, and colour, &c., it may be 
treasured up with aU its parts in their relative order and importance ; so 
that although the artist in realizing his impressions may give to each point 
in turn greater value than it should possess, he may, in combining them 
to form the whole, so arrange and control the various materials, that while, 
by using the knowledge which this minute study has given him, he renders 
the details perfect, he still keeps them properly subordinatiB, sacrificing 
them, not unfitly, to the general effect of the picture. 

Studies of colouring from nature should always be large, and drawn 
with the greatest care ; using pure white paper and moist colours. The 
advantages which atteu^h to the study of the figure on a large scale have 
been weU described by Haydon in his autobiography ; and as his observa- 
tions are applicable to landscape, they are here introduced. ** Large pic- 
tures, by the immense knowledge required, give you the power of painting 
small ones better than if you painted small ones all your life. Because, 
after the detail required by large works, you give the masses only in smdl 
ones, with such decision that this work sends you back to a large canvas 
with more love for masses than when you left ofiT. A painter in large, when 
be paints small, compresses his knowledge ; but a painter in small, when 
he enlarges, extends his ignorance. It must be so. This is the reason 
Eubens*8 small works are so exquisite, and, indeed, all the small works of 
great painters." 

By a careful search into the truth of nature, without allowing the mind 
to become enervated by long reliance on other persons* representations, the 
bad effects of too much copying will be prevented ; a style will be formed 
on the true principles of art, combined with a thorough knowledge of nature 
and her laws ; and the false idea of power which may have been gained by 
the laborious idleness of copying,^-often pursued from a disinclination to 
encounter the anxiety and trouble of following out with simplicity and faith- 
fulness the wonderful variety of nature, — ^will be removed. The student must 
be prepared to find that these first studies are in their execution deficient 
in style, ease, and variety of manner ; but what they want in these qualities 
is abundantly compensated by freshness and originality of thought. They 


win not be, like the copies formerly produced, mere repetitions of another 
person's thoughts ; and, as to the attainment of exceUeaice^ it woold be as 
unreasonable to expect from a schoolboy that his first effort at composition 
should be perfect, or from the juvenile orator that his first speech should 
equal the orations of distinguished speakers, as that the student's first efforts 
in sketching should approach the productions of masters in the ark 

In a lengthened sketching tour, a useful check on the natural tendency 
of young artists to repeat favourite subjects and effects will be found in the 
practice of viewing their sketches altogether at short intervals of time^ 
Spreading his sketches over the table, the young artist will at once detect 
whether they represent too often one class of subject^ one time of the day, 
such as sunset or sunrise ; whether the lights in his sketches always enter 
from the same side, or whether trees are chosen too frequently because the 
foliage is easy of execution. By this sort of examination, it will be per- 
ceived if the costumes of the figures have all the same colours and oi^)osi- 
tions ; and, in short, he will avoid the mortification of the amateur portrait- 
painter, who found, upon han^g up his collection of portraits, that he had 
painted the whole of his friends in profile, and that all looked in the same 

While engaged in the interesting study of nature for the purpose of 
imitating her, we should accustom ourselves to make notes, either on the 
back of each sketch or in a small book kept in the pocket and ever at 
hand. These notes should clearly but briefly indicate any peculiarity of 
form, colour, or effect ; and will be afterwards found of great service in 
explaining or enforcing ideas imperfectly rendered by the brash or pencil : 
they will also enable the student to examine and reflect on the subject with 
yet greater attention should he desire to paint a picture from any of his 
sketches ; for then all these aids will be found of importance. The note- 
book can also be used to tiy the efEect (tf a few lines in the c<mq>osi1ion of 
the subject, or in a rapid arrangement of the light and shade. 

"When sketching from nature, we have to attend to three principal points : 
close observation of nature without prejudice ; careful and dext^K)us imi- 
tation of the different parts with our materials ; and lastly, to make feuthful 
notes of minute circumstances not readily represented without description. 



iftt' Perhaps a few examples of suclx notes, taken somewhat at random from 

Uki sketching excursions, will explain the value of this practice, and at the 

fm same time indicate the parts of the country best suited for the student's 

A£ purposes. 

Ar, North Wales is well adapted in moat respects for the landscape-artist. 

The scenery is bold, the rocks are striking in character, and the country 
ktj abounds in water, falling as well as in pools, wit^ the advanU^ of foliage 

I i of sufficient variety. In addition to these qualities, it possesses others which 

tfflg materially affect the artist who wishes to study for any length of time : the 

^- innkeepers arrange their terms, their hours of meals, and their accommo- 

ifjr dation generally, to suit artists ; and some of the pleasantest hours of a 

^ landscape-painter's life may be spent in the quiet study of the various rustic 

«j^ spots which abound in that vicinity. But there are many other places 

equally picturesque, where the enthusiastic lover of nature and art can 
exercise his pencil without any interruption by day, or any break to the 
continuation of his thoughts by night. Some sketching notes, made during 
an excursion in the Valley op Dolwyddellan, will explain practically the 
author's meaning, premising that, as morning and evening afford the most 
varied effects, including sunrise and sunset, the sketcher should always 
endeavour to be out at those times, taking the middle of the day for rest 
and refreshment. To lose the lovely tints of evening, because he is either 
occupied in dining, or from the fatiguing effects of a long day's study, 
would in a landscape- artist be inexcusable. 

*^Atig. 20. — Four o'clock. — ^Went across the Llidder, over the suspended sal- 
mon-trap, ascending the course of the stream : many excellent nooks for the 
sketch-book, with rocks, birch, still pools, and clear reflections. After about a 
mQe, came to stepping-stones, which, being more varied in size and direction than 
usual, and having a huge mass of rock, with a few stunted and rough alders grow- 
ing out from its base, and almost lying on the surfisice of the water, made a beauti- 
ful foreground to the view of Moel Siabod up the valley. The afternoon was warm 
but misty, causing the mountain to appear more distant than it really was. Hie sun 
was setting nearly over the mountain ; and thus, being behind it^ made the whole 
mass appear a broad and flat gray, rather lighter towards the base. The cliflis and 
ranges of hills up the valley were divided into three or four distinct tones of grays, 
varying in warmth according to their distance from the eye until the rich tones of 
the green of the nearer trees and meadow-grass and hay were reUeved against 


them. Bed of stream sprinkled with slate rocks of different shades, the reflection of 
which with the bushes gave great variety ; the whole of the stream above the step^ 
ping-stones as dark as the distant mountain ; but, owing to the ripple and slight 
fiall there, the water was light, reflecting the rich yellow tones of the setting sun : 
these tones contrasted well with the deep maroon and purply tones of the rocks in 
shadow and reflection. Greatest contrast of light and dark about the large rocks ; 
greatest breadth of light in the sky ; reflection of sun a long beam of warm yellow ; 
general tone of sunset, yellow, in good harmony with the purply gray rocks and 
cliffs. Girl and child crossing — rich citrine petticoat, orange neckerchief, white 
jacket; child warm rosy colours. Action of crossing on these large stones not 
walking, but succession of springs — same leg foremost" 

Stepping-stones are very interesting incidents in a picture ; but in gene- 
ral, owing to the equality in their height, size, and the direct way in which 
they cross the water, — ^being frequently parallel to the base line, — they are 
difficult to manage. "When varied in size, as in the present instance, or 
when accompanied by rocks, bushes, &c., or when commencing or ending in 
a broken or shelving bank or shallow bed, they are very picturesque, and 
frequently give rise to a pleasing incident, or facilitate the introduction of a 
figure, dog, &c., with their appropriate reflections. 

*'Au^, 21 : Hughes's Falls op Conway Inn : Bight o^clock, — Our landlord 
took us to a wild ravine through which the Conway rushes, called Fosse Noddyn ; 
the scene much enclosed ; the rocks on each side of great but unequal height, 
overhung with trees; the opening through at the extremity very narrow, with 
reflection in the water, a beam of light. Determined to make the drawing upright; 
try for the grays of the morning, always the most difficult to get ; contrast them 
with warm sunlight on rocks in foreground. Sat till twelve o'clock ; found light 
altering in direction, and getting too warm. Went again three other days «ame 
time. Greatest mass of broad dark in the middle distance ; trees deep olive ; all the 
colours, both of rocks and trees, in fore part of subject lighter in tone than middle 


distance ; greatest dark contrasted with fall of water in light ; reflections in water 
deep green (made with Vandyke brown and indigo) ; general tone of water very 
dark, excepting reflection of light and simlight on distant trees, which was bright 
yellowish green ; moss, &c. on gray slate rock in foregroimd rich orange (burnt 
sienna and brown madder). The portions of foam, as they come down the stream, 
give to the curvature of channel perfect quietness and solitude ; otter crawled on a 
shelving rock with salmon in his mouth. Although much overhung with trees and 
shrubs, must not lose the sky by putting in all their straggling branches, as this is 
the only part of the picture where the light can be broad," 


On another leaf occurs a note of the colours for a figure, always a point 
of difficulty to determine afterwards : 

" While studying a salmon-trap, man and dog came to examine it : green vel- 
veteen jacket (fjawied), pale raw sienna in light, cool and indefinite in shade ; red 
neckerchief, hright basket, rod, and pole." 

Still continuing to study in this same neighbourhood, which, besides the 
advantages of good subjects, has also generally that of the society of minds 
earnestly devoted to the pursuit of art, I find in my journal a description of 
a rocky river scene studied with some care. 

" Attgust 25. — ^Went down below the house to a place where Hughes said we 
could cross the river Conway. Accomplished it by crawling and scrambling from 
one huge rock to another ; nearly lost umbrella, stool, and pike by throwing them 
on to a sloping rock in advance. These short outs not desirable for an artist, as 
they exhaust him and make his hand shake, besides causing him to become too 
warm for the quiet and still occupation of sketching. Determined to make a care- 
ful study, imperial size, of some large boulders of slate and schistose rocks lying in 
bed of river, the colours of which were warmer and more varied than is usual with 
slate, — admitting the principal mass of light to be on them, conjointly with a little 
fall of water between them ; a battered trunk of a tree, almost without bark and 
the roots up, was hitched in among the rocks, adding to the wild and picturesque 
confusion, and giving variety and warmth to the colour ; strata of loose rocks in 
different directions, showing that they are not in position, but brought there by 
floods; lights on largest mass, yellow ochre and brown madder ; moss, brown pink; 
(shadows, Vandyke brown and sepia, and black with yellow ochre — sometimes cooler, 
and then to be made with the same colours without yellow ochre, but with indigo 
and French blue ; reflection of warm light on water at the bottom of rock, raw 
sienna. Torrent rich in colour to-day owing to rains ; as long as water glides over 
the rounded surface of the rock, all dark rich tones, something of the colour of 
porter or strong tea (brown pink, madder, Vandyke brown, and a little indigo); but 
when it springs out from rock, and air comes behind it, lighter. Colour of trunk of 
tree, rich burnt sienna or light red and Payne's gray ; or on the bark, indigo and 
lake, with yellow ochre. Fortunate that it lies in a position to unite two masses of 
light so as to form one. Second large mass of rock richer in colour, brown madder 
and French blue ; other masses much grayer (indigo and Indian red, Payne's 
gray and light red, black and yellow ochre, with little brown pink) ; whole mass 
of rocks relieved in light against quiet gray green trees in shadow ; distant rocks 
and crags, cool gray with warm Hghts. — Mem, The whole mass of foreground 
brilliant without being crude ; no violent contrasts of colour, no great appearance 



of opposition, — such as purple and yellow, or blue and orange, or green and red, — 
yet quite effective." 

As this work is of a practical nature, I venture to add one more descrip- 
tion of the mode of proceeding with another rocky subject. 

** September. — Sad rainy and stormy weather the last thi'ee days ; this morning 
rather better, but large volumes of dark lowering clouds drifting over the moun- 
tains. All distance hidden ; so determined to try and find a sheltered nook in the 
bed of the Conway once more. As I was likely to sketch only near objects, took 
Whatman's roughest paper weU stretched, half imperial ; found a good group of 
slate and other rocks in torrent, all the colours variations of the tertiary compounds 
and hues, and cool, with the exception of a gleam now and then on some warmer- 
coloured mass. After the outline, covered the whole paper with a full deep tone of 
indigo and Indian red, indigo and brown madder, or indigo and Vandyke brown, 
leaving the warm-coloured rock only in light. Eepeated the wash, only this time 
leaving the sky and rock. The whole subject sure to be sober and gray after this, 
even the trees, grass, and fern ; looks too dark. Put in all general shadows and 
tints ; all decided in their form ; no markings or smaller divisions yet ; moss and 
vegetation all darker than rocks. Second sitting, same kind of day. Began by 
giving the form of the clouds, which were fine. Shadow of clouds deepest over 
middle portion of hanging woods ; old oak on left hand relieved in rather warmer 
half light. Must not leave the stems of birch-trees in wood too lights or they will 
destroy the breadth. Glazed with transparent colours only, — raw sienna, Vandyke 
brown and indigo, brown madder and indigo, burnt sienna and Payne's gray, 
Indian yellow, burnt sienna, and indigo ; where rather warmer, raw sienna and 
brown madder ; brown pink and Vandyke brown over mossy parts. Rubbed out 
lights — getting granulation ; toned over some of these lights with warmer colour — 
dipped rather dry brush in various colours, such as brown madder, yellow ochre, 
burnt sienna, &c. ; dragged over the surface in the lights ; by these means lights 
rendered more varied, opaque, and solid." 

In concluding these notes on sketching from nature, the author must 
remark that, however useful the observations and remarks of uneducated 
people may be in reference to natural eflTects, or the general forms and 
colours of objects, the student must be cautious in following the advice of 
such persons in searching for good subjects or favourable points of view for 
the exercise of his art : they would undoubtedly lead him to the top of the 
highest hill in the neighbourhood, whence an extended view might be taken 
of the whole country, for it is the vulgar idea that the more that is seen, the 


finer will be the picture ; while, on the contrary, artists know that positions 
.chosen in valleys, by the side of streams and roads, furnish better foregrounds 
and more variety of outline. It is related of one of our finest painters, that 
on reaching the Bay of Naples, instead of sketching the whole of that glorious 
scene, he (to the great chagrin of an amateur friend) sat quietly down and 
made a careful study of a fine mass of rock, with a figure or two in the fore- 
ground : while thus employed, he doubtless imbued his mind with the cha- 
racteristic qualities of the whole scene. Amateurs are in general either 
incapable of judging what country is suitable for producing good pictures, 
or they do not take into consideration the peculiar capacity of the artist and 
the object he may have in view. The best advice for the beginner is to be 
obtained from some experienced artist friend, who, when he understands 
what is the object of the tour, the length of time allotted to it, and the kind 
of materials to be employed, will be qualified to judge of the mode in which 
they may be used to the greatest advantage. A little vade-mecum of tours 
for young landscape-artists might well be written by an experienced traveller 
and sketcher, giving a short accoimt of tours, the nature of the studies to be 
found in each, and the easiest and most economical way of working them. 
In the absence of a guide of this kind, the author adds to these hints on 
sketching the names of a few favourable spots for study, For foregroimds 
and plants : Hampstead Heath, more particularly north end ; the Brent at 
Hanwell ; the banks of the Thames at Maidenhead, Staines, &c. For the 
study of trees : old oaks and beeches abound in Windsor Forest ; old oaks, 
in Packington Park, Warwickshire ; at Cobham, near Gravesend ; beech at 
Knowle, near Sevenoaks; for polled beech, the Bumham Beeches, near 
Maidenhead, afford good studies. Fine specimens of Spanish chestnuts may 
be found at Norbury, Beechworth and Deepdeen Parks, near Dorking, and 
also in Greenwich Park ; wych or mountain elm, in Cashiobury Park, near 
Watford ; limes, in the same locality. Fine elms are scattered abundantly 
all over the country; which is also the case with the ash. Fishing-boats may 
be studied at Hastings, Yarmouth, and Brixham, south of Devonshire. For 
rocks and falling water, the student will find abundant examples at Hastings 
(sandstone), CuUercoats (sandstone), Marston (limestone), Ly mouth, North 
Devon, Dartmouth, Dartmoor (chiefly granite) ; in North Wales, at Capel 

Q 2 


Curig, Bettw8-y-Coed, DolgeUy {chiefly slate), 4c. But to find combined, 
rocks, bold headlands, distant mountains, and islands, in the greatest variety, 
the student should visit the west of Scotland, which afTord^ abundant mate- 
rials for endless study ; taking care not to pass over too great an extent of 
country at one time, but rather settii^ himself down quietly for the season 
in one of the following places : Head of Loch Lomond, at Glen Falloch ; 
Killin, Loch Tay ; Dalmally, Loch Awe ; Oban ; Arran ; Loch Fine ; and, 
to conclude this Hat with the finpst and wildest scenery in Great Britain, the 
Isle of Skye. By means of the steamers from Gla^ow this extraordinary, 
wild, and magnificent island can now be easily reached ^ and the young artist, 
losing no time at Broadford, should pass immediately on to Sligachan inn, 
in Glen Sligachan, Loch Coniisk, and Loch Scavaig, where he will find all 
that Bn enthusiastic lover of wild and savage nature can desire. 



of that refined pleasure experienced by all 

lovers of nature, and more particularly by 

W landscape artists, when occupied in pursuit 

of the picturesque, is due to the constantly 

varying effects that are seen in nature. Beautiful under all changes, they 

may in a degree be compared to the display of feelings and emotions on the 

human face : but with this important difference, that the latter, when affected 

by some of the most striking of these, occasions pain, from the idea that 

they result from ill-regulated passions ; whereas in the wide expanse of 

nature storms may rise and the wild elements be let loose, yet amid all 

this tumult and commotion the mind of the observer is sensible only of 

emotions of awe and sublimity, from bis consciousness that all is controlled 

by a beneficent hand ever working for the general good. 

The delineation of these evanescent effects will, with the like endeavour 
to represent human passions, always prove the greatest difficulty with which 
artists have to contend ; so easy is it to " o'erstep the modesty of nature," 
so difficult to give expresaion without destroying grace and beauty. Still 
the attempt must be made ; for where all is monotony, nature is but half 


portrayed, the finer shades of feeling are wanting, all remains cold and 

To impress upon the student the vast importance of this portion of his 
study, a few observations will here be made upon some of the most import- 
ant sources of the variations observable in nature. The sun alone, from 
his glorious rise in the east to his decline in the west, with his constantly 
changing elevation above the horizon, produces an unbounded range of 
eflfects. Influenced by this great power, the atmosphere, clouds and mois- 
ture, in numerous shapes, each afford an every-varying medium for present- 
ing nature under dififerent aspects ; and when to these are added the variety 
of landscapes, seas, mountains, lakes, the wild common, or the woody dell, 
in all their diversities of colouring according with the season, there are, it 
must be confessed, inexhaustible sources for study and imitation^ 

In his first essays, when both mind and hand are occupied in acquiring 
the language of art, the student must make choice of the simplest combina- 
tions ; a light in one direction, few objects and colours, and single reflec- 
tions, the time of day being frequently the same in repeated studies : but 
the ambition of the matured artist induces him to seize the passing effects 
of nature in her happiest moods, visible perhaps but for a moment, yet 
remaining for years indelibly impressed upon the memory, — an enduring 
source of occupation and enjoyment, imparting to the pencil a touch aU but 
magical in its action on the mind of the spectator. 

When aiming at the representation of these transitory effects, the student 
will find the boldness and decision of hand acquired by the practice recom- 
mended in "Light and Shade" (Chapter III. Section IV.) of the greatest 
use, enabling him to seize upon the chief distinctions in tone, while appar- 
ently neglecting minor shades. No time must be lost in imdecided tints or 
feeble touches ; but the hues must be generalised in three or four distinct 
tints, and as much as possible effected with these, not trusting to any 
attractions gained by softening or finishing. Shoidd the attention be dis- 
tracted by minute details, in aU probability the force of the effect would not 
be preserved. Great extremes or unusual appearances must be avoided 
until the student can give them without exaggeration ; but all opportunities 
of studying the phenomena of nature should be embraced, as their truthful 


representation gives great additional interest. As a general rule, in land- 
scapes the hour of the day should be evident To assist in showing this, 
we must summon to our 8ud a knowledge of the different conformation of 
clouds, as displayed at various periods of the day. Thus morning, either 
before or after sunrise, will be indicated as much by the form of the clouds 
as by their colour ; or, if cloudless, by the appearance of dawn in the sky, 
by the summit of the hills alone being touched with light, or by mists lying 
in the valleys. • Midday by the direction of shadows, reflections, or general 
expression of heat, calmness, and repose. In the evening, an exact chrono- 
meter is aflforded in the height of the sun above the horizon, the beautiful 
and changing hue of the clouds, as day passing into twilight gives place to 
sombre night The student must not shut up his sketch-book or relax his 
observations when the rain-cloud sweeps across the scene, many most charm- 
ing efifects being gained by watching its progress: the summer shower, pass- 
ing in filmy veils over a portion only of the landscape ; the rainbow, its 
companion, much or little displayed ; the lowering cloud, the thunderstorm 
and lightning flash, the tempest, — all furnish the artist with valuable sub- 
jects for study. 

In these phenomena, effects should be copied at the time, and the 
memory should not be trusted ; otherwise mistakes may occur, which to the 
eye of any instructed person will appear simply ridiculous. A few notes, 
taken from Milners Gallery of Nature, may remind the student of the 
principal points to be considered. " When rain is falling, and the sim is 
on the horizon, the rainbow appeara a complete semicircle if the rain-cloud 
is sufliciently extensive to display it Its extent diminishes as the solar 
altitude increases, because the coloured arch is a portion of a circle whose 
centre is a point In the sky directly opposite to the sun. Above the height 
of forty-five degrees the primary bow is invisible; and hence, in our climate, 
the rainbow is not seen in summer about the middle of the day. In pecu- 
liar positions, a complete circle may be beheld, as when the shower is on a 
mountain, and the spectator in a vaUey ; or when viewed from the top of a 
lofty pinnacle, nearly the whole circumference may sometimes be eiiibraced. 
When rain is abundant there is a secondary bow distinctly seen, produced 
by a double reflectioa This is exterior to the primary one, and the inter- 


vening space has been observed to be occupied by an arch of coloured light. 
The secondary bow differs from the other, in exhibiting the same series of 
colours in an inverted order. Thus the red is the uppermost colour in the 
interior bow, and the violet in the exterior. The same lovely spectacle may 
be seen when the solar splendour falls upon the spray of the cataract and 
the waves, the shower of an artificial fountain, and the dew upon the grass." 

When rain has ceased, and sunshine succeeded, the effect produced by 
the passing shower may be shown by the freshness and glistering of the 
green leaves, the unusual reflection on the road, steam rising from rocks or 
plsLces bare of verdure when the hot sun has burst forth, and, in addition, 
the more easily noticed incidents occasioned by rain, as the posture and 
grouping of cattle or figures that may have sought shelter from the sudden 

Sir Humphrey Davy's Salmonia also contains some remarks on the 
rainbow and the colour of clouds. He considers that when clouds are red, 
with a tint of purple in the west at simset, the next day will be fine, because 
the air when dry refracts more red, or heat-making, rays ; and as dry air is 
not perfectly transparent, they are again reflected in the horizon. A coppery 
or yellow simset foretells rain ; but as an indication of wet weather approach- 
ing, nothing is more certain than a halo round the moon, which is produced 
by the precipitated water ; and the larger the circle, the nearer the clouds, 
and consequently the more ready to fall In explanation also of the old 
proverb, — 

** A rainbow in the morning is the slieplierd's warning ; 
A rainbow at night is the shepherd's delight,"— 

he informs us, "that a rainbow can only occur when the clouds containing 
or depositing the rain are opposite to the sun ; and in the evening the rain- 
bow is in the east, and in the morning in the west. And as our heavy rains 
in this climate are usually brought by the westerly wind, a rainbow in the 
west indicates that the bad weather is on the road, by the wind, to us ; 
whereas the rainbow in the east proves that the rain in these clouds is pass- 
ing from us." 

Among effects not so common, but still pictorial in their appearance, 
the light of fire, and the contrast it offers to simlight in colour, and the 


direction from which it is generally thrown on clouds and surrounding 
objects, may be noticed. When the evening sun illumines the clouds with 
rosy tints, in consequence of its position in the distance, a portion of the 
under part of them only is illuminated ; but a fire, as the sudden burning of 
a house or a rick, throws a warm glow all over the clouds immediately 
above it ; and the introduction of such an effect, or of burning stubble or 
weeds, often gives much interest to the autumnal landscape : the smoke 
and steam rising in curling wreaths is more illuminated through its entire 
body than it would be imder the sun's influence. Beautiful tints are often 
afforded by the morning or evening rays passing through the volumes of 
widely-diffused steam emitted by the railway engine; these are more 
broken, and have a more evanescent character, than the settled light on 
distant clouds. Fogs also, being mists greatly increased in density, are 
much altered in colour by the introduction of smoke and other matters ; 
these frequently change the entire tone, and present a yellow or brown 
appearance, instead of a gray, neutral in its character. 

Some little consideration is necessary to prevent the student from re- 
presenting the phenomena of nature contrary to what they could possibly 
appear. With regard to the rays of light proceeding from the sun, we must 
recollect that these rays cannot be represented unless the sun itself is hidden 
by clouds, mountains, or other objects. If a cloud or mountain is shown at 
some distance from the sun, rays wiU commence from the cloud or moun- 
tain, radiating or diverging from the sun as a centre ; and although the 
rays are parallel, according to the rules of perspective, they will appear to 
diverge as they approach the earth, and even those rays which are repre- 
sented in a sunset as passing upwards are in reedity "coming down to the 
earth. From a certain position, however, rays may appear both to diverge 
and converga Suppose, for instance, that in looking at the sun we see 
rays diverging as they approach us ; on following their course as they pass 
us, they wiU appear to converge as they recede in the distance. In repre- 
senting the perspective of clouds, the student must recollect that they are 
masses of vapour floating above the earth over a denser medium, and conse- 
quently their lower surface is flatter than the upper ; in reality, the upper 
part of cumuli expands into convex and varied forms of very different 


appearance : the more dense and opaque clouds are, the more light they will 
reflect, and the more shadow they will throw. 

The effect of the rain-cloud is so varied, and assists so much in giving 
truth to the scenes depicted, that it may be further described. When seen 
in the distance on a moderately calm day, rain may descend in a delicate veil 
and parallel lines to the earth ; or sloped by a gentle breeze, it may still 
further vary the forms. In mountainous countries, where rain most fre- 
quently occurs, and where, owing to the darkness of the tints behind, it is 
most conspicuous, the rain-cloud frequently affords an opportunity of veiling 
some form not desirable in the composition. In marine subjects, the dark 
storm-cloud contributes much to the sublimity and grandeur of the effect, 
even without the addition of the lightning-flash. If the lightning-flash be 
attempted, we should endeavour to give it that form and direction wliich 
those who have studied the subject say that it really presents ; for its 
appearance is so momentary that, in fact, not merely the philosopher's 
science is needed, but some portion of the painter's license also : sis in 
reality the landscape and the flash of lightning cannot be seen at one 
moment, the excess of light dazzling the eyes of the observer. Much dis- 
cussion was raised some years since by a lightning-flash in Turner's picture 
of " Deal Harbour," which was curved and waved like a ribbon. Arago 
distinguishes three classes of lightning. First, luminous discharges, cha- 
racterised by a long streak of light, very thin and well defined at the 
edges, of a white, violet, or purple hue, moving in a straight line, or devi- 
ating into a zigzag track, frequently dividing into two or more streams in 
striking terrestrial objects, but invariably proceeding from a single point 
Secondly, he notices expanded flashes spreading over a vast surface without 
having any apparent depth, of a red, blue, or a violet colour, not so active as 
the former class, and generally confined to the edges of the clouds from 
wliich they appear to proceed. Thirdly, he mentions concentrated masses 
of light, termed globular lightning, which seem to occupy time, to endure 
for several seconds, and to have a progressive motioa 

After clouds and rain, mists possess great interest, as, whether partial 
or general, they afford excellent opportimities to the landscape-artist to give 
aerial perspective with truth, — a point of equal importan(te with the linear. 


By the assistance of mists, the great difficulty that the painter feels in 
representing distances may in some measure be overcome ; by them lights 
and shadows are reduced, and minute details of masses lost, thus causing 
greater breadth, and adding to the size of moimtains. In nature, dense 
mists, or the stratus clouds, frequently separate the summits of mountains 
from their bases. In depicting these phenomena, however, we must pre- 
serve 80 much of the outline or general tone of the mountain as shall enable 
us to connect the whole into one mass. 

Mists are not so common in Switzerland as in England ; and as there 
are also strong oppositions in the colour of snow, dark firs, blue mountains, 
and glaciers, subjects from that country require great care and skill in their 
treatment. In Plate 19, an incident by no means uncommon in that 
country has been introduced, representing an avalanche of snow falling 
over a gallery in the wild passes of the Stelvio. This is the most recently 
constructed military road over Monte Stelvio, and is the only means of 
communication which the Emperor of Austria has to connect his Grerman 
and Italian states without violating the territory of another government. 
This road is very interesting, not only from its being the highest carriage- 
road in the world, but on account of the skill with which it is constructed, 
and the sublime scenery through which it passes. It is a singular and 
astonishing example of human labour. For a considerable distance half its 
width is covered in by strong wooden galleries, with roofs and supports 
sufficiently massive to resist the pressure of descending avalanches, which 
are very common here in winter. Immense masses of rock, in themselves 
mountains, throw out their black and scathed forms in striking contrast 
with the brightness of the glaciers which they separate. To produce the 
effect of snow, either when falling in detached flakes or in larger masses, as 
in this instance, it is advisable to prepare the drawing by washes and tints, 
getting in the general effect rather darker than it is wished to be when 
finished. To imitate the loose flakes, there is no better plan than scraping 
a razor over the surface, when the roughness of the paper allows it to take 
off the tint from the eminences ; some of the light thus gained may be 
toned down, if necessary, with light washes. In falling snow, the larger 
portion of the flakes may be thus indicated ; but those close at hand some- 


times require either to be touched on with opaque white in separate spots, 
or sprinkled on by dragging the thumb-nail over a short-haired brush pre- 
viously charged with white differing in degrees of opacity. 

Snow, being a perfectly white surface, is admirably qualified to reflect 
hues and tints transmitted from other sources ; thus the gray death-like 
hue of the sunmiits of the Alps at sunset is changed for the most beautiful 
roseate tint immediately afterwards, and that again passes into a pale clear 
moonlight tone. 

Landseer has frequently represented snow with much truth, both in 
quality and tone, showing the great degree of purity it possesses compared 
with other white objects, such as game with white fur or plumage, ptarmi- 
gans, &c. He has also represented the roseate hue it sometimes takes, 
contrasted with the reflected cool colour in the shadows, in his affecting 
picture of the dead deer and fawn ; but in the representation of mountains 
covered at the summits with snow, Turner and Stanfield have best suc- 
ceeded. A fine picture by the latter, of French soldiers passing a river near 
Sarzana, must be still fresh in the memory of most students. The yoimg 
artist should not confuse the whiteness of snow in winter scenes with 
the light on objects ; snow falls on the upper surfaces only, having often 
i^oite a contrary direction and^ effect, making, for instance, roofs of houses 
lighter instead of darker than the walls. Hoar frost and b'ght falls of snow 
do not affect the forms of objects ; but sSter hea\7' falls and drifting winds, 
the outlines are either rounded or altogether altered. The melting of the 
upper surface of snow, and its freezing again with a different reflective 
power, causes ailother striking alteration in its appearance ; portions of 
the Jungfrau become by this change perfectly dazzling in their effect If 
possible, the paper should be left pure and undisturbed to represent these 
highest lights ; scraping out abrades the surface at the same time that it 
lowers it, whereas it should appear in relief. Sometimes a decided edge, or 
surface, can be given with Chinese white (oxide of zinc, which does not 
change in colour, if pure) : it should be laid on solid and opaque ; if not 
quite smooth, it may be scraped with a sharp razor, as a perfectly smooth 
surface is required to reflect the light equally. Snow soon loses its extreme 
purity. The sloping mounds of snow seen in the valley at the foot of the 


Jungfrau from the Wengem Alp, appear much lower in tone than the 
course of the fresh avalanches ; the latter resemble a broad white river 
flowing over a gray ground When the student has an opportunity of 
examining pure snow, he should compare it in shadow, in diffused daylight^ 
and in sunlight ; he will then see how immensely superior sunlight is in 
power to even the whitest object. 

The representation of ice is sometimes attempted in river scenes ; it 
exhibits some of the properties of water, being a level surface still pos- 
sessing some portion of reflective power ; it is, however, grayer than water 
in colour, and when cracked shows more of a green or blue tint The 
introduction of objects resting on the surface appears necessary to shOw 
its peculiar distinction and solidity from water. When seen in the form of 
glaciers, ice exhibits the greatest possible variety, — sometimes like waves 
of undulating surfaces, sometimes separated into pinnacles and spires as it 
falls over the uneven rocks beneath, and at other times at their termina- 
tions showing magnificent caverns and fissures, very beautiful in colour. 
The general hue of the surface, however, is much affected by the debris 
of the rocks which have fallen on it in its course, giving it a decidedly 
warm tint. 

It is only when ice is clear and free from these deposits and snow that 
it can show much variation of hue ; on such occasions, however, the colour 
of the sky, clouds, rocks, or mountains surrounding it, materially affect it. 
The ice of rivers varies in tint with the water, and the state it was in when 
frozea The colour also of glaciers varies mucL The glacier of Eosenlaui 
is noted for the purity and blueness of the ice. 


On the gray and weather-beaten granite rocks of Dartmoor, exceeding 
in elevation fifteen hundred feet, although stUl below the general height of 
clouds, their effect, combined with rain, is much more visible than in lower 
countries. Such high table-lands show the effect of exposure in many ways : 
in their colour having a hoariness and subdued coolness, but more parti- 
cularly by their near contact with the clouds ^s they roll over and hide their 
highest tors, or sometimes veil altogether the brow of a moor ; at other times 


the sudden storm descends in torrents on the intervening valleys, accom- 
panied with glimpses of brighter weather. At such times, both shepherd 
and sheep are alike glad to crouch beneath the old gray rocks or over- 
hanging heathery bank, cheered with a partial but watery gleam of sunlight, 
giving some hopes of a termination of the shower. This is certainly not 
the weather for an artist's most elaborate studies ; but with a quick eye and 
practised hand, he may, while joining in the welcome shelter take notes 
for his future guidance. 

In commencing an effect of rain, such as is attempted in the Plate, the 
student should put a wash of pure gray over the whole subject, trying to 
bl&t in the effect as completely as he can at once, for on such damp days 
the paper dries very slowly ; but still he must necessarily wait for it to dry 
before he is able to get the sharper lines of the falling rain and clouds, or 
the still firmer Une of the hill- side. These first tones should be perfectly 
neutral, without any tendency to purple, — cobalt Hue and Indian red, with 
ivory black or light red, and ivory black or indigo, Indian red and yellow 
ochre. After one or two of these general tones, the greens and other fore- 
ground colours will appear less positive ; and yet in small portions of the 
foreground he can remove some of the gray with a drier brush or cloth. 
The blending of tints produced by working so much with gradated tones is 
very favourable to such effects, as it imitates very closely the natural result 
of falling rain, obscuring the forms and colours. It is advisable to use the 
colours full and flowing freely, as they have in this state more the effect of 
the wetted earth and glistening herbage. Eain, however general it may be 
in the western and mountainous parts of our island, is more picturesque 
when shown in partial showers : in this condition the artist finds it a useful 
incident in veiling or altering the form or tone of mountains otherwise heavy ; 
for while it conceals some of the parts, it may cause others, like the jutting 
crag or near shoulder of a mountain, to separate into much finer forms. 
(We have in recollection the difficulty we found in bringing Ben Cruchan 
well into a sketch of Kilchum Castle, Loch Awe, without the assistance 
of a welcome shower.) Wlien we see a dark lowering cloud commencing to 
fall in rain, the descending drops wiU cause the part from which it is falling 
to be grayer and lighter than the other parts, but stiU it will appear like a 



dark veil on the sky or lighter clouds behind ; but when coming before a 
still darker object, such as a mountain under shadow of a heavy cloud, it 
will be lighter again. Something like this may be noticed even in towns, 
by watching the large rain-drops or snow-lSiakes as they descend ; looking 
up, they relieve dark against the sky, but against the darker houses they 
appear light 

Sometimes a light shower may be seen falling from a cloud, but be 
entirely dissipated before reaching the earth ; and not always falling perpen- 
dicularly, but sloped by the direction of the wind. Heavy rain does not 
obscure the distance so much as either mists, fogs, or steam. Steam is par- 
ticularly dense, and casts a positive and intense shadow : one can observe 
how completely it shuts out light and distance by standing at a railway- 
station in heavy rain, and watching the steam of a departing train fill the 
nearest arch ; the whole appears a dense opaque curtain, while the rain-drops 
in comparison are no impediment to vision. Thus mountains and distances 
should be shown when the rain is general, although many miles distant 

We may quote Mr. Twining on this subject: "The effects which are 
subsequent to a fall of rain are in general picturesque and agreeable. The 
soft transparency of the atmosphere ; the bright green of the meadows ; the 
freshness of the vegetation in general ; the sparkling of the returning sun- 
beam on the moistened surface of the leaves, and in the large drops which 
they still throw off at every motion ; the steam rising from the previously 
heated roofs ; the contrasts between the dazzling reflections of the moistened 
roads and the dark appearance of the trunks of trees, and other objects of 
wood, soaked with moisture, — are effects either pleasing in themselves, or ob- 
taining that deeper interest which results from apposite associations, or from 
the most explicit and pointed comments on the condition of the weather." 


After the profusion of colour and endless variety of hues which are to 
be seen at sunset, the sober tints of twilight may appear monotonous ; still 
they frequently possess a harmony of the most refined character, comprising 
indeed fewer notes, and in a lower key than "when the sun was displaying 
his glories as he sank below the horizon, but possessing abundance of tones 


of great variety and power. The cool shadows of night may be creeping 
up to possess the scene, but they are softened and even warmed by the 
reflection of lights still lingering in the sky and on the clouds. With 
regard to the general tones of evening, philosophers as well as artists 
consider that the tones of morning are generally grayer or cooler than 
those of evening ; this will not, however, prevent the artist from delineat- 
ing morning efifects as sometimes warm, or, on the contrary, some even- 
ing efifects as sometimes cooL To account for the general tendency, we 
quote Professor Miiller, who says that "immediately after the maximum 
diurnal temperature has been attained before simset, the surface of the earth 
and strata of the air at different heights begin to lose heat by radiation. 
Before, however, this has led to the entire condensation of the aqueous 
vapour, it pfiisses through that transition stage which causes the evening red. 
In the morning the case is different ; the vapours which, in the reversion of 
the process, would probably have given rise to the red, do not rise till they 
have been exposed sufficiently long to the sun's action," In twilight, such 
as Plate 20, the evening grays are supposed to be increased by clouds. We 
have therefore to begin the drawing by blotting-in grays made with Indian 
red, rose or purple madder and cobalt, strengthened by other washes, in 
which indigo and ivory black are combined with French blue and niadder; 
and in such effects the quiet predominating tones are secured by putting in 
grays over the whole drawing, with the exception of the smaU portions of 
the sky where the warm sunset-light still lingers : this prevents the stronger 
tones afterwards used from approaching the glowing colour of sunset In 
suggesting studies of like character from nature, Plate 20 will, we believe, 
be found useful 


Moonlight possesses great charms for all lovers of nature. Objects 
seen by it seem separated from the more common light and influence of 
every-day life, and subject to different laws, as if they belonged to another 
world. But still the laws of nature must be studied and faithfully observed 
by the artist who would convdy this effect to his pictures^ or only so much 
deviation from them permitted as may be considered as a slight exaggera- 


tion, tending to produce a result on the eye of the spectator more in 
accordance with the appearance of nature than would follow from an exact 
copy. The illuminating power of the moon is very small in comparison 
with that of the sun, some hundred thousand times less ; but we are hardly 
aware how small until we see the moon in fair daylight near a bright 
cloud, and compare its brilliancy with that of the latter : we then find we 
can hardly distinguish it from the cloud, for it reflects no more light, and 
sometimes much less, from an equal extent of surface. It is only by some 
such examination and comparison of the real power of moonlight, that we 
can arrive at a just conclusion upon this point. Again, the size of the 
moon BB compared with the field of view we take in when sketching a 
subject, or with the objects in the picture, is far smaller than we usually 
suppose. A man at about twenty-five yards from us would hide the whole 
of a full moon with his head alone ; but although these considerations are 
true and worthy of remembrance, they are not to confine students to any 
exact proportionate size ; for we are aware that to give objects importance, 
they frequently may be represented large in relation to the other parts of 
the picture. In a picture of 60^ visual angle the moon can truly occupy 
only about the one hundred and twentieth part of its width ; when, there- 
fore, we represent it large, we must consider the extent of the picture as 
diminished, and the objects as necessarily near at hand. 

In daylight views, if we can avoid introducing the sun into the picture, 
we shall possess greater power for the other lights, as all lighted parts 
ought to have but a small portion of the force of the illuminating body. 

When the moon is in the picture the same point must be considered, 
and care taken that the planes or surfaces of objects facing us are not in 
light. When the moon is behind us, and consequently out of the picture, 
we shall have the strongest possible light on objects ; and when it is on 
either side, and rather behind us, an opportunity is presented of giving the 
strongest lights and cast shadows together. 

When the sun is represented within or at all near the visual angle, it is 
scarcely necessary to observe that the full moon cannot be shown ; also, 
when the new moon is shown, it must have the illuminated crescent turned 
towards the sun ; with the latter below the horizon, the crescent would be 



turned in the same direction. These points would almost appear trivial and 
unnecessary ; but we continually see the ci'escent of the new moon repre- 
sented as turned away from the setting sun. With regard to the degree 
that the character or texture of objects ought to be shown, we may remark, 
that in bright moonlight we can see to read print, and the colours of objects 
near at hand are slightly visible; grass will appear of a subdued olive-green, 
and the colour of warm stone will be shown in a deep and cool maroon, 
or as warm gray. 

With respect to the tones and hues of moonlight subjects, it is not 
advisable to begin with washes too cool, or the whole effect will be black ; 
for when all parts are equally dark there is a loss of power. The drawing, 
therefore, should be commenced with a wash of Indian yellow, or a mixture 
of that colour and Indian red; the second tint may be Indian red and in- 
digo, or sepia and indigo, with a little crimson lake. French blue may also 
be used instead of indigo ; cobalt scarcely possesses power enough to be of 
much service. The tones of buildings seen by this light may be made with 
sepia, broion madder, or purple mndder, combined with French blue or tn- 
digo ; Vandyke brown and indigo, with a little lake, form a good tone for 
objects in shadow, also purple or brovm madder with indigo; and the green 
of trees or grass with broion pink and indigo, with crimson lake or purple 
madder. But notwithstanding our anxiety to preserve light in our picture, 
we must not forget that if a moonlight view is hung by the side of a sunset, 
it should at once show that it is moonlight ; it must be inferior by many 
degrees in brilliancy and in warmth of colouring. 



are but few 

in nature, 

ir beautiful 

Kin which 

with conti- 

!S8 they ex- 

>f animated 

■ few land- 

ite without 

f figures or 

ects in hu- 

imals inti- 

'ith them — 

our sym- 

f the scene 

ir, they fur- 

" ^" ' ■'■"'- ' mall us with a scale by which 

we can judge of the extent of the view, and the size of every other object it 

may contain. Again, the costume, if rural figures, will indicate the country 

in which the sketch was taken, for most countries show some peculiarities 

in the dress of the peasantry ; by their occupation we can also give some 

idea of the hour of the day, or the season of the year ; and taking advantage 

of the license universally conceded to the painter, we can, by introducing 

incidents, no matter how trivial in themselves, give to the sketch an air of 

truthfulness and reality, imbuing with interest the moat barren and deserted 

spot, and lending a charm to the quiet and rustic nook. 

In addition to these important points, rustic figures offer almost the 
only opportunities for the display of the primitive colours ; in their dresses 


will be found the strongest colours, which, hannoniously united and 
judiciously contrasted, afford a point of strong attraction for the eye to rest 
on, — a focus of great strength, having a powerful influence on all the other 
hues of the picture, causing at the same time the foreground to advance, and 
the distance to retire. 

It Ls, however, a mistake to suppose that, even in these prominent por- 
tions of a picture, colour must always appear in its full force ; on the con- 
trary, we must still bear in mind that, neither in the strongest light nor in 
the greatest dark, does it appear as positive as we know it to be in mode- 
rate daylight. When we offend this law, and represent a red coat or blue 
dress of the same pure tone both in the lights and shadows, how childish 


and ridiculous does it appear ; while, on the other hand, if the colour is once 
indicated with sufficient purity in those parts, namely, the half lights and 
shadows, where it would be so seen in nature, nothing more is required. 

It has been observed in more than one instance in this short treatise, 
that colour, however strong, gives place to light and shade ; this it is that 
produces the important quality of breadth observed in nature. To imitate 
this successfully, we must study with care how the light will fall on the 
figures we introduce into our landscapes. If they are important, in the 
foreground, and are to attract the eye, we may find it advisable to arrange 
the colours of the garments so that they may present considerable masses of 
hues without any great division : the dresses of women and children espe- 
cially give opportunities of placing colours and tones in harmonious arrange- 
ment ; and while thus pleasing the eye by beauty of contrast, they serve to 
draw our attention to the chief point of interest, or, if sufficiently important, 
they may be themselves the greatest point of attraction. To give greater 
contrast, we should avail ourselves of the darker clothing of men and boys ; 
so that in all these groups variety may be given, and yet a general breadth 
secured. Perhaps there is no portion of a figure, however powerful the. 
colour of the dress, which is so instantly distinguished by the eye as that left 
uncovered, showing the rich-toned flesh. This is probably owing to its 
being quite different from the tones of the landscape, or to its union with 
forms that we at once recognise ; we are therefore always anxious to intro- 
duce as much of the bare legs and feet as we may without making the figures 


look cold ; to prevent this, we must bear in mind that they should be 
coloured with warmth and be full in the outline. 

Although we are thus attracted by the colour of flesh, the distance from 
which figures are viewed in a landscape prevents the landscape-artist from 
marking the features veiy minutely. He divides the face into broad masses 
of light and shade ; the lesser differences in either portion being but little 
regarded. If the figures, however, are near, and in strong sunlight, the 
reflected light on the face may cause the whole to have a rich and warm 

If it is desirable to have the whole of a figure in light, the colours should 
be so selected that they bear more relation to b'ght than shade, and thus do 
not interfere with the breadth. The material of which dresses are made 
has more influence on the masses of light and shade than would at first be 
thought possible. Thick woollen homespun garments, made and dyed by 
the peasantry, generally harmonise better than others, their very thickness 
causing them to form larger folds, thus giving greater breadth, while their 
rough and varied texture is more easily imitated than those finer in quality. 
From their durability, they acquire different tints as their colours fade ; and 
this generally occurring on the prominent parts, greatly assists the deli- 
neation of light and shade. One cause of the great want of picturesque 
beauty about Manchester and large manufacturing towns is the poor thin 
cotton dresses, covered with the smartest colours, displayed in sprigs or 
spots all over the dress, while whole-coloured garments are equally rare. 
These spotted or gaudy-coloured dresses remind us that in arranging sub- 
divisions of colour we must stQl bear in view the necessity of breadth. For 
example, a figure in a scarlet or orange-red jacket or cloak will have all the 
vigorous attractive qualities of positive colour without destroying the light, 
because this kind of red, broken with yellow, is more allied to light than to 
shade. Yellow also, in a modified condition, can be used ; it diminishes 
the quantity of light even less than red, but does not possess the same posi 
tive character as a colour. When employed pure, it is apt to look gaudy 
and rank ; a small quantity, such as a bonnet or a handkerchief affords, is 
sometimes desirable ; but it is more generally agreeable when introduced in a 
subdued condition in one of the secondary hues, as orange green or citrine. 





Blue is subject to the same remarks. A large mass of it destroys the 
efifect of warmth, which is so agreeable in a picture and so essential in figures. 
A cold shivering figure, whether the feeling is produced by coolness either 
in the flesh tones or the dress, has a bad and painful efifect. Those blues 
composed of indigo, broken in the light by a little yellow or red, and form- 
ing dull citrine or faded greenish tones, and contrasted in the shadow by 
purples and reddish browns, are most pleasing. Kich brown tones also 
made with madder and sepia, or Vandyke brown and lake, cooled in 
the shadows with blue, are very agreeable to the eye. 

When several colours are introduced, they may with care be so arranged 
that they shall present harmony by analogy and simultaneous contrast at 
the same time ; thus two figures may be so clothed, one having the upper 
part green the lower a dull red, the other a broken purple and orange 
yellow. It will be scarcely necessary to add, that these divisions are not to 
be formal, terminating exactly at the precise line like diagrams of pure 
colour, but must be broken or mellowed into each other by strong lights 
which take away the colour, by shadows which subdue it, and by reflections 
which considerably modify the tones. All should be done with the most 
refined art, and yet the art itself should not be visible. 

When it is desirable to direct the attention more particularly to one 
figure, it can be effected by giving it greater contrast, not only in light and 
shade, but by using such colours as shall produce simultaneous contrast. 
The face also being turned to the spectator causes additional interest. Thus 
also, in Plate 22, the red dress of the girl on horseback is rendered still 
more conspicuous by the opposition of the green colour of the boy's coat; 
the man is at the same time placed in shadow, having the contrast of light 
and shade, but deprived of violent contrasts of colours, as they are all mel- 
lowed and broken. In all the colours which are observed in nature on 
figures, there will be some modification produced by simultaneous contrast 
and by aerial perspective. This effect must be imitated either by laying on 
the general tone first, or by passing one transparent tone over another : thus 
all the primitive colours, including white and black, must be harmonised, or 
they will look crude, the pigments being rarely put on quite pure ; black 
especially looks heavy and unnatural when so used, and we ought to make 

CffiJLTa'lli-&3''i'3 O'l iDXDTil,, 

-,^j-- . irir^"»i 



this colour exceedingly valuable by using it seldom. In the sketch of two 
children crossing a rustic bridge (page 252), an instance is given where the 
necessity to seize the position or attitude at the moment it strikes you is 
evident. The children could not be taken to the bridge and told to call the 
dog, throw down their gleanings, and arrange themselves naturally ; but 
being caught, as it were, in an instant by the artist's eye, they are much 
more likely to appear simple and unaffected. General breadths or masses 
may be put on all over the picture, the shadows added, and, if sharp vivid 
lights are wanted, it is sometimes better to put them in with a firm brush 
and solid Chinese white ; and when this is dry and hard, glaze over it with 
the requisite colour at once. This produces great force. 

The study of rustic figures must always present difficulties to the artist : 
if he is strongly attached to landscape, he grudges the time or interruption 
it appears to cause in his principal study; he frequently allows figures which 
are passing by to escape his pencil, and when he is afterwards painting his 
picture, he wants these very figures to complete it. Let him therefore not 
hesitate to drop his landscape study when he encounters such incidents ; but 
if his picture is not in a fit state to receive them, take out his small 
note-book, and sketch at least the attitudes, and make notes of the colours. 
These notes will serve to guide him in making a finished study, if he can 
procure the figures to sit or stand for him at a future time. It is useless 
for an artist to say, " Now, to-day I will study figures," because many of 
the best and most appropriate incidents or figures may not be foimd at the 
moment : nor does he always succeed in finding upon the spot a complete 
group suitable to his picture ; he may meet with figures scattered at inter- 
vals over the subject, in such situations that, were he to introduce them in 
this way without thought or system, he would divide the interest and destroy 
the effect of imity. For instance, if he finds at one moment a figure like 
the girl on horseback (Plate 22), the boy might not be there, or the acces- 
sories, such as baskets, panniers, &c., not so picturesque as may be seen in 
another instance; but the constant habit of filling the note-book with 
studies of this kind wherever they are to be found, will enable the painter 
to enrich his finished picture with the most appropriate details. 

If three or four figures are introduced of the same size, it is better to 


unite them in one group ; when, by varying the attitudes or positions, an 
agreeable connexion or union of sentiment and action throughout the whole 
will be produced. It is desirable to decide, when the group first strikes the 
eye or the imagination, which figure or figures shall be predominant, in order 
not only that the forms should be the most important, but also that the 
colours of the dresses should be so chosen or arranged, if they are not for- 
tunate in nature, that they may assist in giving force and beauty to the 

If the landscape is nearly completed, and it is stUl doubtful where the 
figure or group ought to be placed, the artist may cover with his hand the 
spot where he thinks it likely it should be, and by the force of imagination 
suppose it there : he can then judge how it would be situated with regard to 
other objects ; so that he may avoid placing interest under interest, or object 
over object. Should his imaginative powers not suflSce to embody the effect 
of colours and contrasts, he can easily blot them on a smaH piece of paper, 
and placing that over the spot, try the effect Although it is advisable to 
have one group or incident predominant both in form and colour, that does 
not prevent the introduction of a figure, or even groups, of less importance 
in the distance ; the brilliant colours of the principal group, on the contrary, 
often gain by being repeated in a moderated or lesser degree in the other 
figures or groups. 

The size of figures to be drawn in landscapes has often proved a source 
of doubt to the student : generally speaking they should be small, for they 
must not divide the interest with the scene, but only add to it ; they are, in 
fact, accessories : if too large, the landscape becomes subservient to them ; 
both cannot be equally attractive; Very often the actual space figures 
occupy in a landscape is exceedingly small ; but they derive much of their 
importance from their motion. This power they possess in common with 
certain other portions of the landscape, such as clouds, water, smoke, &c. ; 
but when we add to this motion the idea of Ufe, the sentiment of interest is 
so much increased, that the smallest spot of colour passing rapidly along 
has power to attract the eye or absorb the whole attention : thus the flash 
of colour produced by a kingfisher along a solitary stream, the gray heron 
in his silent flight, or even a fluttering butterfly, become of importance ; and 




to possess that in the picture, they must be drawn larger and brighter than 
they really are. Another instance of the effect of motion in determining 
objects when they are either exceedingly small in the distance, or when their 
colours are the same as the objects around them, may be mentioned : a 
stationary figure may be taken for a rock or the stump of a tree ; but when 
seen in motion, the eye is instantly riveted on it, and figures which appejur 
as mere specks can thus be traced in their progress up the mountain-passes. 
To give the full importance either to the forms or colours of figures intro- 
duced, we must be careful as to placing strong forms or colours of the same 
hue or power about them ; and we may still further assist this distinction 
by taking care that neither their forms, their colours, nor the manner or 
touch with which they are made out, should repeat the inanimate portion' 
of the landscape surrounding them. 

Good drawing and decision in outline is even more essential in rustic 
figures than in the landscape ; at any rate, inaccuracy is more easily 
detected, for all are by nature and unobserved training constituted judges 
of the truth and correctness of the human figure. It is well, therefore, for 
all who introduce figures into their landscapes to study the proportions and 
anatomy of the human form previously. This may be done with great 
facUity in Loudon and all the large towns at the present time, where there are 
many works of great ability which will assist the student ; and he may rest 
assured that the time will not be lost in the employment, for it enlarges the 
ideas, and greatly contributes to form a good style. A few hints may, how 
ever, be given to the landscape-student here, which, in the absence of these 
opportunities, may assist him in sketching the rustic figures he meets with 
in his rambles. They should always be introduced appropriately ; they 
should be naturally employed, connected with the scene, and not divide or 
distract the interest, but add to it. Their actions, positions, &c., should be 
seized at once, and put down, that the spirit may not be lost ; the truthful- 
ness thus given to the merest sketch is surprising. To efiect this with 
rapidity, the decision and correctness which has been gained by copying 
geometrical figures of lines, angles, and forms, in different positions and 
quantities, will be very useful. A cei*tain firmness or squareness of line or 
form, which results from drawing from point to point in straight line?, 


begets firmness or largeness of style in sketching the figure. This mode 
of viewing every thing in large masses, without subdivision, is seen in all 
the best painters, and is applicable to works of any class or school ; it pre- 
vents timidity or meanness in the execution, and should not be confounded 
with caricature, which is an exaggeration of peculiarities. If the figure be 
upright and equally balanced on the feet, a horizontal line or a mark should 
be put where the feet are to come, this being very important, as indicating 
the distance it is from the base of the picture ; then a mark for the top of 
the head, this gives the height ; a perpendicular line is now made, and comes 
of course, in the case mentioned, between the feet ; but if the figure is 
standing more on one foot than another, this line will be in the middle of 
the foot upon which it is standing, or rather between the two points. If the 
figure is in action, as walking, running, or carrying anything of weight, the 
proportion of the body on each side of the line will vaiy : in the case of pro- 
gression the body is, of course, thrown forward ; and it will at once be per- 
ceived that the leg must be advanced, or the figure would felL A rustic 
figure may be considered as about seven heads high ; a child, having the 
head larger in propoAion, may be about five. A line across the shoulders 
will next assist the student most, as by it he may give the action as well as 
proportion. If the action of the figure throws it considerably out of the 
upright, a line should be struck, which may be supposed to indicate the 
spine ; then lines to denote the direction or position of the arms and legs. 
It may seem strange, but it is the custom of most landscape-painters who 
only sketch the figure generally and rapidly to put in the head after the 
trunk and a portion of the limbs, thus taking the most eflTective lines while 
they are visible. In drawing the head, the oval of the face, the frontal line 
which goes down the centre of the brows, nose, lips, and chin, and which 
curves with the direction of the face, the lines through the eyes, nostrils, and 
mouth, all agreeing and curved either up or down according to the position 
of the head, are the first drawn ; and, aided by the general direction these 
give, the features are blocked out The hands and feet are treated in the 
same way — ^the large masses first, and the subdivisions afterwards ; but care 
should be taken to go over the whole, marking all the delicate variations of 
line, for it is highly important for the student to possess a good outline 


before he begins colouring. If the study of the figures is large, the outline 
should be rubbed faint, and put in with the brush and sepia or brown 
madder, marking in some indications of the light and shade. The principal 
shadows of the face and figure are now put in ; and these should be made 
with Vandyke hrovm as a foundation, warmed with brovm madder or cooled 
with cohaUy according as the transparency of the blood tells or not ; and 
when dry, the flesh tint may be added in a wash of delicate Indian yellow 
and Venetian red, or burnt sienna; or to get greater brilliancy, cadmium 
and carmine, broken down with burnt sienna and cobalt for a greenish neutral 
shadow, and Venetian red and cobalt for a reddish neutraL K dark in 
complexion, Indian yellow and Indian red or broum madder, or Vandyke 
broum, sepia, or broum madder, with cobalt blue for the shadows, always re* 
collecting that shadows appear warmer than their edges ; where in fact light 
passes into shadow, there will appear gray, for on rounded forms the union 
of the lights and shades produces a neutral gray, and changes the warmer 
local colour at these parts into gray, the reflected lights in shadows being 
the warmest The most diflBcult part of figure-painting is the demi-tint, 
the tones of which are most delicate and shifting ; the sweetest colour 
of the figure lies in these tones. The simultaneous contrast from the 
brilliant light flesh tells much on them. The flesh tint of the male figure 
being orange pink, generally presents purply tones ; in the female a pink 
orange, they incline to green. Much of the beauty of these tints will be 
obtained by hatching warm tones over the first general washes ; by this pro- 
cess transparency is given, and we appear to penetrate the shadow. If this 
hatching should be too conspicuous, it may be subdued by a brush and clear 
water. All this minute description of tints and shadows will be more 
needed by those who study the rustic figure in large than by landscape- 
painters in general, who, painting a face the siae of a lady's finger-nail, will 
very probably blot it in with burnt sienna or li^t red, and scarcely even 
trouble themselves to furnish it with eyes. 

A few words may be added on cattle and animals, which contribute 
such a charm to landscape-sceneiy. With figures they form most pleasing 
groups, and give great interest to the simplest subjects. In them we possess 
opportunities of showing colour in a purer state than in the landscape, and 


thus use them to give point and contrast to the wliole picture. The colours 
of cattle are generally rich and dark ; but we now and then find a white or 
cream-coloured cow or horse of great use in introducing light into the fore- 
ground. Horses, when rustic and ratlier shaggy in their coats, are well 
suited to some kinds of landscapes, such as forest or heath scenes ; even dogs 
become of importance in connexion with sheep or highland drovera The 
rich colours on cattle or animals can generally be best obtained by glazing 
one pigment over another. If light, yellow ochre, or yellow ochre and light 
red, or hurnt atenna, or Indian yellow and brown madder ; if dark, they may 
be made with hmnt sienna and Irown madder, or Indian yellow and purple 
madder, or hroxon madd-er and sepia, or Vandyke hrown and purple madder, 
or Vandyke hrotim and crimson lake. Even when black, no black pigment 
must be used, but colours should be united or glazed over each other to 
produce a purply black, or blue, or brown black effect ; thus indigo 
and purple madder, French Blue and Vandyke brown, or sei>ia, or purple 
madder glazed with indigo or French blue : these giving all the depth 
that is necessary without opacity, and produce a good effect. 


The following additional notes are in answer to the questions of a young 
art-student friend : 

By " license conceded to the painter with regard to the introduction of figures** 
previously mentioned, is meant that he has the right to place any figure or inci- 
dents that he may have encountered and sketched at one time into a landscape 
studied at another, provided that they are suitable and appropriate to the scene and 
time. For example, in the Highlands, we may very likely meet just as many cock- 
neys, dressed in short- tailed coats, glossy hats, gloves, and well-blacked boots, as we 
do of old weather-beaten shepherds, with their gray plaids and caps : the colour and 
smartness of costume, with their actions and attitudes, at once indicate them to be 
accidental visitors, neither contributing to the effect nor associating with oiur ideas 
of the scene. The fashion of their clothing in particular, being discordant^ shoidd be 
rejected, it being permitted to omit such even if they should be landed in shoals from 
some Loch-Lomond steamer ; but we rejoice in the appearance of an old shepherd or 
gamekeeper, with rough-coated gray pony, pouches, game, and traps, as associated 
with the country, and serving to give a focus to our sentiments. However, there are 
occasions when the very inappropriateness of the figures in a landscape contributes 
to enhance the effect : thus, in the midst of peace and solitude, an indication of a 
coming storm, or result of past violence. This gives such great interest to Landseer's 
" Challenge." The deep repose and cabn of the moonlight, in which the bellowing 
monarch stands, with the certainty of the terrific combat that comes with his swim- 
ming rival, adds character to the scene, and makes it almost a historical work. The 
same may be said of " The Sanctuary ;" which has a certain amount of action in the 
uplifting stag and startled wild-fowl, but a grand effect of calmness and security in 
the deepening shades of twilight settling over the distant lake and hiUs, thus throw- 
ing a veil of obscurity over the hunted deer. Whoever has spent a single autumn in 
the western Highlands must feel that this is true to nature, and yet elevated by the 
painter's imaginative art But to indicate in some degree the bounds that should 
be placed on this license, let us suppose a less experienced artist, seeing the attrac- 
tive nature of the incident of the wild-fowl rising startled from the reeds in " The 
Sanctuary," had introduced them in the " Challenge ;" the result woidd have been, 
the intense interest now concentrated in the stag and his coming rival would be 
divided, and the main point of the picture lost> in order to show how well the 
laborious artist could paint ducks, or with what variety of objects he cotdd enrich 
his picture, forgetting that in art, as in other studies, small things must give place to 
large. Again, Stanfield's " Abandoned," undoubtedly one of the finest pictures he 
has ever painted, owes much of its poetry and sentiment to the idea of the former 
struggle, contrasting so 6uiiistically with the helpless deserted state of the noble ship, 
Stanfield never got this idea from models, though he has some of the finest ; but 
from intimate acquaintance with the strength and beauty of the ocean. He might 


possibly have painted this wreck as she lay on the sands, or even at Rotherhithe ; 
the clouds and waves he may have studied from his window at Hastings ; hut by 
skilfully uniting the cause with the event, he has given poetry and feeling to the 
wild waste of waters that only a master in his art could have done. This is what 
may be called " license," or just imaginative combination, which those who rest too 
much on model copying (living or dead) think objectionabla In these pictures, 
then, the eye and mind tend to focus their powers on some one point of main 
interest, to which every other thing in sight is subordinate and accessory. The more 
definite this object appears, the more indefinite should be the surroundings ; and 
when any scene about us happens to supply this condition in a striking degree, we 
invariably have a picture. Turner, however, was our greatest master in the hand- 
ling of this principle of bringing interest and focus into a picture ; nearly all his 
works show how keenly he felt the necessity of this scale of piano and forte. We 
can often observe the point or pivot on which his compositions turn, as it were, upon 
a main focus of incident : very often a mountain top, or the reflection of a mountain- 
summit in a lake ; again spreading through gradations of minor incident, as rocks, 
buildings, shipping, figure-masses ; then subsiding into a final tranquillity of water 
or sky. Thus, in the busiest scenes or pictures, there must be repose as well as 
action ; or, if you prefer the terms, tranquillity and incident, — the former generally 
greatly predominating. The want of this quality of repose is more evident than 
agreeable in many modem works : it may come from the horror a young artist has 
for " canvas to let " not feeling, perhaps, that the pure and beautiful gradations of 
a clear evening sky are quite as pictorial, when justly contrasted, as midtiplicity of 
form. Once more, on the introduction of incident into landscape for it is a very 
difficult point with all, and not merely amateurs or young students. There may be 
occasions when the very inappropriateness of figures or other incidents in a scene 
will contribute to enhance the desired effect : in this way the power of each quality 
is increased. Wallis's beautiful and effective picture of " Chatterton" was rendered 
more striking by his showing the calm break of day : the candle quietly burning 
out, and the gay dress even, so significative of the wild fancies, ambitious illusions, 
and deceptive temperament of the poor boy, might or not have been true to life ; 
but doubtless they assist the story : yet Chatterton might have died with the shutters 
closed, or in the nighty and without even a candle. This is license, and universally 
conceded to painter as well as poet Again, in the wild seclusion of the snowy 
summits of the Alps, to find a poor chamois bleeding to death from the ball of the 
hunter, while the innocent fawn hangs in anxious attitude over its parent^ — this is 
harsh and jarring to the feelings ; yet we know it is true, and may occur, it is there- 
fore not objectionable in art The passage of the Great St Bernard by Napoleon, 
or the combat between the French and Russians at the Devil's Bridge, St Gothard, 
are also incidents that you would hardly call appropriate ; yet they may, when skil- 
fully introduced, contribute to the grandeur or horror of the scene : the character 


of the historical event being preserved, but the landscape still continuing predomi- 
nant When speaking of the passage of the Alps, the mind instantly recalls the 
great picture of Napoleon on his rearing charger by David, and the more recent 
rival picture by Delaroche, who has placed him in meditating attitude on a mule, 
and led by a guide. We feel at once that artistic license has been exceeded in the 
former, but in the latter all is truthful and appropriate ; and the more we read or 
know of Napoleon, the more we feel that, with his practical mind, he did positively 
cross the Alps in this more unaffected way. Thus the realisation of grand natural 
facts is the poetry of landscape. 


It will be seen from what has been already said, that I do not consider indigo, 
when broken with yellow or red, as a real blue, and objectionabla On the contrary, 
I consider the colour thus broken one of the most agreeable and common in peasants 
and fishermen's garments, appearing in this case to contrast most artistically with 
red, and also passing into orange or even yellow without any harshness. The blue 
that is objectionable is the cold Waterloo blue, or a true primitive, which, as ladies 
declare, quarrels with nearly everything but a tawny complexion. Now, with regard 
to Gainsborough's " Blue Boy," brought so prominently forward in the Manchester 
Exhibition, 1857, my opinion, after a careful examination, is, that Gainsborough has 
shown his talent as a portrait-painter more than he has controverted Sir Joshua's 
theory. There is blue, no doubt, quite enough, — skilfully managed too ; blue on the 
coat, breeches, stockings, shoes, and bows ; blue in light, and blue in shade : but» 
after all, the main charm and beauty of the work is the rich, ruddy, and lifelike face 
of the young fellow ; and the eye and imagination dwell on that as a solid piece of 
flesh and blood, not at all cold or disagreeable. The question is, whether the very 
coldness of his costume does not send you to his beaming face and roguish eyes at 
once as the prime source of interest j besides, the whole picture is painted with such 
vigorous and powerful handling, and the blue is set-off with such fine rich russet 
tones of sky and landscape, that the effect of blue as a cool colour is counteracted : 
yet if one looks at the breeches and stockings, one doubts whether there is any par- 
ticular harmony or reason that they should have been blue. Were he less ruddy, 
I suspect he would remind us of the poor urchins we see coming out of some 
indigo manufiactory. But turn to Sir Thomas Lawrence's " Young Lambton," in 
the next room : you perhaps do not know or recollect that he also was originally 
dressed in blue, and had a very different appearance ; for his small delicate face and 
pale complexion had such a miserable effect, that he was entirely re-clothed in rich 
crimson-velvet before he was exhibited. Depend upon it, those who attempt 
Gainsborough's experiment will need all his power ; and how few possess his talent^ 
we may see in the successful rivalry with Sir Joshua which he shows in his por- 
trait of the charming Mrs. Graham, exhibited by the side of this bold youth. 


With respect to contrasts in costume, what I have said is certainly very short : 
but the theory is treated more at length in " Simultaneous Contrasts ; " besides, 
every one who has studied one season from nature, or even in Langham Chambers, 
knows that there are a hundred different ways of giving contrasts. For instance, 
repose in position against action, strength and abruptness against delicacy and 
refinement in form as well as in colour. Light delicate complexions are thus con- 
stantly opposed to dark ; until, following the example of Sir George Beaumont, who 
asked Constable where he would put his brown tree, we might demand, " Where do 
you intend to place your brown beauty ? " 


Artists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life, and the 
incidents that express life and action. It is so much easier to allow our attention 
and energies to relax and fell back to the quiet placidity of model-drawing, that we 
do well to remind one another that the real position of the human figure, the real 
expression of the passions of the human mind, are only seen for a moment when 
the exciting cause is effective. They are not seen at all either in the face or limbs 
of the placed model, skilful though he be, and you yourseK have often remarked how 
soon the model droops and distorts ; neither are they seen on the stage, trained 
though the actors are to stereotype a substitute. Every one can tell a copy of a 
stage-scene in a moment. How is this 1 Because it is unnatural But when one 
sees real action, the result of intense feeling, how it dwells on the memory ! I have 
seen most of the best actors of the last thirty years ; not one of their personifica- 
tions of the passions remains on my mind so distinctly as that of a poor woman, 
whose child was run over in one of the back streets of Si Giles'a I even recollect 
her attitude and the wringing of her hands, an expression of grief I had never 
before observed. I had thought it was a twisting of the hands closed together, 
whereas the poor creature passed one hand over the back of the other alternately, 
ending with a strong compression of the fingers. I believe this action is sponta- 
neous and natural ; as the other day, when taking my children to the Zoological 
Gardens, some person threw stones at the hippopotamus, to make him come out 
of his bath ; when he immediately rushed out, and burst open-jawed against the 
fence, trying to break it down. My little boy called out> "0, what shall I dol 
what shall I do ] " and began to wring his hands in the same way. So, I say, 
observe nature first ; get ideas fix)m her ; then work the model, nude and draped, as 
much as you like : but keep always in sight the reality, not the made-up attitude 
or expression ; and however much you may study parts, never let them interfere 
with the truth of the whole. Again, you recollect that group of ragged men, women, 
and children, that I told you o^ digging and clutching up the broken wood-pave- 
ment in Holbom ; they, in their eagerness, attitudes, and grouping, would have 
formed a far more natural foundation to begin upon, for your picture of the " Ben- 


digo Diggings/' than all your models with their true costume and implements. 
There was more reality, more heart, more lifelike attitudes in this real scene than 
your models could screw into their faces or muscles in weeks. Therefore I say 
again. Take care of the real action and incidents first ; and in the search for these 
I think you do quite right to move about and take sketches from real eyents, making 
your first studies and pictures from them. 

I must now tell you why, id nine cases out of ten, the model is resorted to for 
study, rather than the real incident or attitude as it occurs. Firstly, because the 
true energetic expression is so transitory, so evanescent we may say, that none but 
expert artists are qualified or prepared to seize it Secondly, because the study 
from the model is a lazy way, allowing more time for dawdling drawing, and 
making excellence in the minor points of finish and colouring compensate for real 
vitality. This study may be more gratifying to the eye than either the real draped 
figure or the antique ; but I am inclined to agree with those who think that Etty 
was not a good example, nor showed a pure and refined taste and love of art for 
its own sake, in always repeating studies from the nude. When Gilchrist praises 
him for never being absent from the life-study at the Eoyal Academy, although 
scarcely able to bear the heated rooms and the great changes of air on his asthmatic 
trsiae, I have thought whether Michael Angelo went through all this, or whether 
good drawing of the bones and dissected muscles, with a careful study of the antique, 
and afterwards the real life out of doors, as we intend to introduce it in our 
pictures, was not in most cases sufficient ; for it is not necessary for all to excel in 
painting naked figures or exquisite flesh tones. Etty might not be aware of the 
feeling to which he largely contributed ; and this mode of study must have warped 
his aim in art. There is more or less refinement even in drawing from the female 
life.; and you must have noticed this as you have seen Mulread/s careful studies, 
formerly shown in the Society-of- Arts' rooms, and since in the Art-Treasures^ 
You must have admired his refined and yet truthful studies ; they are far removed 
fix)m the reproach which may apply to Etty's : for the same reason I prefer Bailey's 
conception of Eve to Dubuffe's, and Bell's nymphs to Fradier^s bacchantes. What is 
copied so carefully from these models must partake of the character of the originals, 
who possess nothing of the feeling of the incident or event ; and this deficiency will 
be very visible in the work. This was very different in the time of the andents, 
or even in the present time in parts of India and Africa, where it is the custom for 
the people to go nearly unclothed. Place one of these women by the side of a 
London or Parisian model, and see the difference there will be in attitude and 
expression. It is for the same reasons that I consider the restorations of the Yenus 
de Medici bad in taste, and prefer the statue in a mutilated state. Therefore, 
when in modem sculpture, a brazen sort of indelicacy is presented, it offends me 
artistically, and makes me see the great difference between the best old Greek 
marbles and such modem works. 




With regard to the size of figures in landscapes, — a most important point, and 
one which apparently gives you great anxiety, — I venture to remark, although 
there is much in art that cannot give an account of all it feels or does, if you were 
a figure-painter as Wilkie, Collins, Mulready, &a, you woidd draw in your figures, 
and suit your landscape, the smaller portion, to them. I^ again, you were a land- 
scape-painter, like Turner for instance, you would knock ahout your figures like 
bits of wood or colour, just to make them suit your purpose, or heighten the effect. 
So you see the education and previous study of an artist will generally determine 
for him which part of his picture he should make the focus of interest ; it is only 
in certain cases, when an artist is of the bat species, hovering between landscape 
and figures, that he feels any difficidty. Look at HooFs pictures : he can paint 
figures and landscapes equally well ; but I much doubt whether his pictures pos- 
sess only one focus or predominating point, like Webster in figures or linnell in 
landscapes. Many have remarked that they woidd gladly mystify some of his 
exquisitely-finished middle distances in order to throw the focus of attention more on 
his figures. You say Cuyp always sacrifices his landscape distances and skies to his 
cows, having breadth and repose in one portion of his picture, and strength and 
opposition in the other ; also you instance Eubens' landscapes as being truly land- 
scapes, although he could paint the figure so well ; so that probably he felt the 
necessity of putting some control upon his powers. I view it thus, when the figures 
are to be the chief interest of the picture, then the landscape should be broad and 
tolerably undefined ; but when, on the contrary, the scene as a landscape predomi- 
nates, then the figures shoidd be just the size to serve as a scale and set it off ; and 
your observation that when a group of passengers in a street are sufficiently distant 
to allow a clear space of pavement and road to be shown first to the eye, gives a 
very good idea of the proportion they should hold. But if they are too large, or 
approach too near, then the street-scene as a picture vanishes, or the eye does for 
you what you must do for your picture, — unfocus the one and focus the other. 

You say that " it is never contended by the most strenuous advocate for con- 
tinued atelier-study that this can supersede the observance of real nature." I be- 
lieve not ; but I maintain that those who pass some of their best hours, and give 
their best labour every day, to one kind of study, wiU at last see nothing but what 
arrives to them through that medium, and will eventually become disgusted with 
the crudeness, abruptness, or want of grace in natural attitudes ; and will so carry 
their mode of study about with them, that even their most rustic peasants shall be 
formed and posed like Junos or Dianas : and this is what was formerly remarked 
of Christal's Welsh lassies, beautiful as they were ; but what is worse, they may 
lack some of the comparative innocence and freshness of rustic life. I prefer placing 
the model out of doors in the same light, even sunlight if possible, if the effect in 
the picture is to be sun-lighted. Light transmitted through glass, and reflections 
from various objects in the atelier, must materially affect the tones of the figure. 



i-ITH a View of afforduig the student as 
' much assistADce as possible in the pre- 
sent work with the smallest amouut of 
I labour on his part the subject of colour 
m its application to landscape painting, 
has been treated in the moat simple man 
ner avoiding all those short and technical 
expressions in -which artists indulge for 
the sake of brevity but which are bttle 
understood except by those in constant 
communication with them. The author trusts that this mode of proceedmg, 
aided by numerous diagrams and examples, will now have so fiir removed 
the difficulties obstructing the onward course of the student tba^ having 
acquired a due knowledge of the nature of the materials employed, and an 
efficient daxtenty in handlmg them he will have leisure to search into the 
causes of the extraordinary and beautiful effects of the contrasts of colour 
seen m nature and to trace the sources from which they axise and that, in 
transferring them to his paper he will not only be able to imitate them with 
accuracy but also to apply his representative pigments m strict conformity 
with the laws governing the relation of colours with each other 

A mere faithful copyist of nature may, no doubt, succeed in producing 
a perfectly correct representation of the various modifications of colour in 
a natural scene ; but to accomplish UiIb he must use his brush from b^in- 
ning to end in the immediate presence of the effect to be conv^ed ; his 
first wash and his last glazing must each be applied in exact imitation of 
the actual landscape ; and when, after laying aside his work &om fatigue or 
other interruptions, he resumes his study, he will require that every minutiee 
of atmospheric appearance, light, &c., should be identical with that of the 
previous day ; because, from alterations of the light and many other causes, 
be will find the effect and tints will have changed, tending to confose and 


mingle those delicate variations of colour on the exact representation of 
which his complete success depends ; even as a slight movement of objects 
submitted to the photographic process suffices to destroy the truthfulness 
of the picture. 

Frequent study from nature, attended with all these precautions, is most 
valuable, and cannot be too highly recommended to the beginner as the 
best training to which he can subject himself, and indeed as the only school 
in which the attainment of perfection is possible : but it is evident that, if 
no education either of the eye or the mind accompanies such study, the 
student must remain a mere servile imitator ; and when the combinations 
or contrasts of nature are no longer before his eyes, he will be utterly des- 
titute of the power of adding a tint or a wash in accordance with the prin- 
ciples of harmony. Happily, however, this is seldom or never the case : 
the mind examines, combines, and arranges by a process of its own, even 
when not cognisant of the laws already acknowledged ; though this, in the 
majority of instances, is attended with needless labour and expenditure of 


To prevent this groping, as it were, in the dark, and to bring the expe- 
rience of other minds to assist the student in reducing his crude impressions 
into order, some attempts are here made to explain the rules regulating 
the production of one colour on the eye by the action of its opposite, and 
the different power of contrasts produced by colours of various degrees of 


We have referred before to the instance of that part of a yellow sand- 
bank seen in bright light, tending to produce an appearance of purple on 
the parts left in shadow, and to like occurrences : these effects being well 
ascertained facts, it is evident that education may teach where such opposi- 
tions would take place in nature ; and hence, under what circumstances the 
artist must avail himself of them in his representations, when, as is fre- 
quently the case, he has to supply fix)m memory the inevitable deficiencies 
of his sketches. We say inevitable; for few indeed would be the number of 
works produced if, as in the studies above alluded to, every touch had to be 
applied within actual view of the scene under representation : on the con- 
trary, the greater part of most landscapes is painted under the influence of 


a vivid recollection, when the mind, being fully imbued with the nature of 
the eflfect to be produced, is guided by known rules in applying colours 
of such a nature and in such proportions as to give a corresponding eflfect 
to the picture. 

The term recollection must not be confounded with imagination : the 
latter, in sketching &om nature, is of course inadmissible ; the practised 
eye retains the full impression of the scene on which it has dwelt, bearing 
in mind the various parts making up the whole ; and the hand accustomed 
to the use of the brush, and directed by the judgment in the selection of 
suitable colours, conveys to the drawing the impress of truth by painting 
from the image still vividly present to the mind's eye, though no longer 
visible to the physical organs. 

It is not every artist who can give a reason for his almost invariably 
using certain colours in connexion, or in juxtaposition with certain other 
colours ; his knowledge may have been imbibed almost imperceptibly to 
himself &om a careful and constant observation of nature, and may often 
seem to h^ve come intuitively. But the amateur, who is not supposed to 
devote his time and energy so entirely to the one object of succeeding in 
art, will do well to take advantage of every aid to diminish his labour ; he 
should study the laws proved by observation to govern the eflfect of all 
colours or tints in relation with those appearing near them. 

Notwithstanding, however, the encouragement the student receives from 
the feeling of power that knowledge of this kind will convey, he must regard 
it as merely the rudiments of a universal language which will enable him 
to read, and in some measure to understand, the principles that govern 
these natural effects. 

Having by these preliminary studies obtained some definite idea of 
colours, and become acquainted with their appearance, whether in the pure, 
in the simply mixed, or the complex condition, as shown in the primary, 
secondary, and tertiary colours (Plate 3) ; and having acquired the power of 
recognising them when seen imder the influence of diflferent kinds of light 
and shade, — the student must now be prepared to examine them and their 
effects on each other, either in juxtaposition or when contrasted in every 
possible degree of purity, variety, and quantity ; for on his intimate know- 


ledge of contrasts or oppositions will depend the beauty, harmony, and force 
of his pictures. 

Should he possess an attentive and observing mind as well as a quick 
and sensitive eye, he will from the commencement have perceived that 
colours gain or lose in a very great degree, according to the situation in 
which they are placed with regard to others ; and that in some cases their 
real hue can scarcely be recognised. Consequently the success of his prac- 
tice will ultimately rest upon his thorough knowledge of those oppositions 
and contrasts which exert the greatest influence on each other, whether the 
efifect is produced by repetition, by simultaneous, or by consecutive appear- 
ance ; he must also become aware of the degree of sensitiveness possessed 
by his own sight, and thus be prevented from diverging into irregularities 
which would result from a want of such important knowledge. 

By contrast, colours either gain or lose in the power which they exercise 
on the eye. To examine this efifect, we must take them in their simplest 
form, and even in the first instance confine ourselves to white and black, 
the representatives of light and shade. 

When these are placed side by side, as in Plate 23, Fig. 1, we find that 
each is rendered more powerful : such a contrast has been called simulta- 
neous, because each colour acts at the same time upon the other. The 
alterations an'^ modifications are indeed so extensive and so important, that 
it is here nee 3sary to consider some of them more carefully, although they 
have been mentioned in the Section on " light and Shade." The most im- 
portant point is, the effect this juxtaposition has on the apparent strength of 
the tone, more especially at the point of contact. When we examine several 
narrow shadows of dififerent degrees of intensity, but which we are aware 
are each quite flat, or take several strips of paper of the same neutral gray, 
but of different depth of colour, and place them side by side, the middle of 
each shadow or strip will not be altered, but the edge next the lighter tint 
wlQ appear darker, and that in contact with the darker tint lighter ; thus 
producing an effect of concavity in each, while the whole will resemble a 
fluted column, with the light more on one side than the other. If so great 
a modification takes place in flat shadows, or in neutral gray tones, how 
great must be the alteration in the appearance or relative value of colours 




with the additional effect of the complementajy colours produced by their 
contrast in juxtaposition ! 

The next description of contrast claiming our attention is the successive : 
this refers to the complementary, or accidental, colours which appear when 
the eye has been fatigued by regarding colours in a strong light, and has 
been spoken of in Chapter I. Section III. It should be clearly understood 
that these colours are not only visible to philosophers, or to those whose 
eyes have been trained to ob- 
serve colour, but are easily seen 
by all who will take the trouble 
to observe the eflfect that takes 
place in the eye when pressed 
in the dark, or when closed 
after looking either at the sun 
or at a strong colour in sun- 
light. To make this more evi- 
dent to the student, it will be 
advisable to place before him a 
diagram in the form of a circle, 
showing the principal colours 
with their complementaries. In 
this circle (Fig. 1) the three primitives are separated by the secondaries, 
which they form by mixture, or by being placed over each other : thus the 
complementary of red will be green, that of blue orange, and that of yellow 
violet or purple. If the primitive colours pass into the secondaries by gra- 
dations, their complementary colours will be subject to as many modifica- 
tions as there are in the original colours. To render this balance of colour 
stUl more intelligible, the three primitives with the three secondaries have 
also been disposed in an equilateral triangle in Fig. 2, which clearly shows 
that the complementary colour of a primitive is composed of the secondary 
colours formed by a mixture of the two remaining primitives : thus green, 
a mixture of blue and yeUow, is com'plimentary to red; violet or purple* 
made with red and blue, is complimentary to yellow ; and orange, made 
with red and yellow, is complementary to blue. In whatever form these 






rig. 2. 

contrasts are considered, the student must endeavour to attain a clear idea 
of colours and their complementaries. 

In order to enable the student to prove by actual experiment that com- 
plementary colours do become visible to every one, with rare exceptions, four 

of the most striking si- 
multaneous contrasts are 
shown in Plates 24 and 
25. These diagrams, al- 
though small, produce 
great eflfect on the eye ; 
they can also easily be 
copied, and the experi- 
ments enlarged or varied, 
by cutting out figures of 
the same proportions in 

BLUE/ L :^ ^•^ED - 

gray paper, and pastmg 
them on tinted grounds 
two feet square. It may be necessary to observe, that, after looking on a 
figure or wafer of any strong colour, whether primary or secondary, the 
complementary colour will always appear surroimding it> even when it is 
placed on white paper ; but in this case the quantity of light reflected by 
the white ground will cause the appearance of the complementary colour to 
be indistinct, and therefore it is better to use a gray of a neutral character 
for the reception of the complementary colours ; and the ground colour 
should be extended, that it may have a more powerful effect on the eye, 
while the figure should be narrow, so that the complementary colour shoiQd 
affect the whole of its surface. These experiments may be made in sxmlight^ 
common diffused daylight, or lamplight. To some persons they are obvious 
at one time, and by one kind of light ; to others they become more quickly 
visible in light of a contrary description. The author finds the ground colours 
produce the effect described soonest when they are slowly moved about from 
side to side, or up and down, and the quantity of light upon them varied. 
Only one diagram should be seen at one time, the other on the same sheet 
remaining hidden by the blank paper divided for that purpose. 

£. 1 la u X 'i' A H :k "If 3 i! o w '1 :ii ^\ 3 a' s= 

t' 'J :'>.! 'i: X 'J? A H "i: D "n 3 i; o rr 'i m a s ci' 




PLATE i-i. 


It would be as well, in experimenting upon these contrasts in large, to 
place one of the figures cut out of the same gray paper on a ground of white, 
that it may be used as a reference, and the real colour of the figure may be 
seen. In the accompanying plates the neutral gray is exactly the same in 
each diagram, being printed with the same colour. In Plate 24, Fig. 1, 
the ground colour is yellow ; the neutral gray will in this case appear violet 
or purpla In Fig. 2, the blue ground will cause the gray to appear a 
golden orange, although the tone of the gray on the figure in some degree 
deducts from the distinctness of the complementary colour. In Plate 25, 
Fig. 1, the ground being orange, the figure appears blue ; and in Fig. 2, the 
groimd being green, the figure appears red. When these experiments are 
tried on a large scale, the complementary colours will appear strongest 
round the edge of the figure ; and it has rather a spectral appearance, the 
colour approaching in some degree those beautiful tints seen in the pris- 
matic spectrum. 

Carrying out the restilts of these experiments in our practice with re- 
gard to the colours or tints of flesh when examined closely, we shall doubt- 
less find that many of the most beautiful and delicate of the tones on the 
human face are referable to the effect of simultaneous contrasts : thus at the 
edge of shadows on a skin of warm rosy colour is observed a cool gray, 
and sometimes even a cool greenish tint, these becoming more particularly 
visible when the surface is rounded like the face. Where the light passes 
into half light, or where the light and shade meet, there will be these cool 
tones ; and if the complexion is red, they will, j&x>m the complementary 
action, have a tendency to green, however imnatural such a tint may be 
considered on the face. If the complexion incline to yellow, or orange 
rather, the edge of the shadow wiU incline to blue. Some portion also of 
these peculiar gray tints may be owing to the semi-transparent nature of 
the skin, as well as the degree of gloss on its smooth surface, which reflects 
the cool lights of the sky. When these slightly green or gray edges of 
shadows are put in, they must be decided in their form and position, and 
pure in tone, or they will lose aU effect. If dirty or undecided, it is almost 
needless to add they are worse than useless. 

It is a most improving study to examine a skilfully painted panorama 


close at hand, where we may see these simultaneous contrasts carried into 
effect in a bold style and on a large scale. In these works of art every 
colour must be true and forcible, and rather exaggerated, to allow for the 
blending of the hues by aerial perspective, as well as the operation of con- 
trasts ; so that here we have excellent opportunities for observing their im- 
portance. Many of these pictures are so skilfully dashed in, and the oppo- 
sitions of colours arranged with so much art, that one r^rets when they 
are destroyed — as they generally are — ^to make room for others of fresher 

These chief contrasts once understood, it will be easy to comprehend 
the more complex combination produced by the eye when, after looking at 
a certain colour, and acquiring an aptitude to see its complement at the 
same time with a new colour, the sensation produced on the eye is not a 
simple one, but the result of this new colour and the complementary of the 
first. Both are for the moment added, as it were, together. Much of that 
harmony of colours so admirable in nature must be the result of this prin- 
ciple, which not only blends them together by the laws of light strictly ap- 
pertaining to themselves, but also, by the exquisite sensibility of the visual 
organs, stiU further harmonises them to the sight of each observer. Thus a 
distant line of gray mountains, seen from a road-side, with a foreground of 
cool forest green, would appear tinted with crimson ; if the foreground is a 
rich yellow meadow, or bright sandy beach, the distance would be tinted 
with violet; and if seen , over the surface of a blue sea or lake, it would 
take a decided orange tone. In a country like England, in which green 
tones so largely predominate, we cannot observe these striking effects so 
frequently as we could wish ; but when we see mountains bare of all ver- 
dure, and rocks of different hues, — such as are to be seen in going up the 
Soimd of Sleat, on the west coast of Scotland, — and look at them across a 
blue expanse of water, we at once recognise the wonderful and mysterious 
effect of the complementary colours. If these are seen with the added glories 
of an autumn sunset, it wiU readily be confessed that there is little necessity 
for the landscape-artist to travel to Italy for the purpose of studying colour. 

The difference of power existing in different individuals, in respect to the 
full appreciation of all these delicate variations of colour, has been spoken of 


In Chapter I. Section IV. ABSuming, therefore, that all who have proceeded 
thus far in this study possess good and sensitive organs, we will at once pass 
on to the explanation of the effect produced on the eye by any colour when 
viewed singly or in the simplest opposition, such as black against white, 
when such contrasts are supported by the neutral gray described in Chap. I. 
Section I., being a mixture of powdered charcoal and white chalk. A tint 
of this kind, possessing those rare qualities of neutrality which allow it to 
combine with all the rest, whether in harmony or in contrast, gives impor- 
tant aid in the appreciation of these efiects, increasing the brilliancy of some 
and subduing the harshness of others. Owing to these properties, it has 
been used as a groimd to set off and enhance the colours in Plates 3, 4, and 23. 

After looking some time at a colour, the retina becomes fatigued, and in 
some degree incapable of seeing it as it is. In order to I'^ain its normal 
state, it must either rest or look at the compensating colour. 

In contrasts, therefore, we gain the greatest power by bringing the ex- 
tremes together, not only as regards their relative force in chiaroscuro, but 
also as concerns the juxtaposition of colours with their compensating equi- 
valents. At the same time it must be borne in mind, that a continual recur- 
rence to such extremes wotild fatigue the eye as much as a monotonous 
sameness, and that, in nature, these extremes are rare and of limited extent 
As an instance of the fatigue alluded to, and of a temporary loss of power by 
the eye, M. Chevreul shows that when a person has twelve or fourteen pieces 
of red cloth to examine, the first six or seven wiU a* ~>ear more brilliant than 

' Ate 

the last ; and that to regcdn the full power of discrimination^ it will be ne- 
cessary to look at the complementary colour — green, when the remaining 
pieces will appear of their true brilliancy. To bring this more home to the 
landscape-student, let him call to mind the satisfaction that the eye feels 
when, after wandering over greens of various tones, it at last meets with a 
brilliant spot of red or scarlet This is so well known, that it has almost be- 
come proverbial that no green lane is without its old woman in a red cloak. 
After acquiring clear ideas on this point, we must study what effect the 
contrast of different colours, varying in degrees of intensity, has either in 
enhancing or diminishing the power of each ; when it will soon be perceived 
that the union of the qualities of light and shade with those of colour pro- 


duces the strongest eflfect : thus light-toned yellows contrast powerfully with 
deep-toned purples, and light-toned greens with deep-toned reds or maroons. 
If the colours placed near each other are complementary, additional power 
is gained by the effect of the complementary action. 

To examine carefully the eflfect simple opposition of colour produces, we 
should turn to Plate 3, Fig. 1, in which the three primitives are arranged 
so as to form the secondaries where they cross : in this situation they at once 
assert their importance, the secondsiries appearing far below them in force ; 
but in Fig. 2, the secondaries assume the same importance in comparison 
with the tertiaries. The orange in Fig. 1 looks dull when seen with the 
yellow ; but in Fig. 2, the same colour printed at the same time looks bril- 
liant when contrasted with the quieter-toned tertiaries : it has also in this 
diagram the additional contrast of the complementary action in reference to 
the green, a red orange being complementary to a green blue. 

To show the effect of contrasts more clearly to the student, Plate 23, 
consisting of rude blots of colours, has been prepared ; to which we will 
briefly allude, leaving the pupil to make experiments from which he may 
draw inferences for himself. 

In Example 1, white is contrasted with black; the simplest of all con- 
trasts, but open to abundant variations by the power of diluting the black so 
as to form a gray. The beautiful effects we see in fine engravings or in 
photographic pictures, are produced by a combination of neutral tones. 
Again, in nature we often see white in large quantities in the sky, or on 
buildings, without being struck with its power ; but let a white horse or cow 
appear in the foreground, where it is contrasted with the deeper tones of 
colour, and at once we understand the value of the contrast. 

Example 2. Yellow is here contrasted with white and black. All the 
primitive colours gain more or less by their juxtaposition with white and 
black ; and although in these blots of colour no attention has been paid to 
quantities, or any great care taken with the varieties of tone, it will at once 
be perceived that yellow contrasts more powerfully with black than white. 
Yellow abounds in nature in broken or modified tones more than perhaps 
any other colour, but it is difficult to introduce in a pure state into any 
work of art without producing gaudiness. 


Example 3. Eed in light pure tones, dappled in with white, is very har- 
monious ; and the effect, when observed in a clear and varying complexion, 
is well known : it is more nearly allied to white than to black, and presents 
this peculiarity, that objects may possess much positive colour as red, and 
yet not detract in any great degree from the light. 

In Example 4, blue is seen to be very harmonious when contrasted with 
white ; the sky presents frequent occasions for observing such effects when 
dappled by the cirri, or bright white clouds. It is, however, necessary to 
observe some caution in introducing it in pictures, as it partakes largely of 
a cold character, and is more nearly allied to shade than light. 

Example 5. A light green harmonises well with white : in this example 
it id contrasted with the complementary colour red, which adds much power. 
This contrast is the most decided, and at the same time the most pleasing, 
in nature. Both colours hold the middle position with regard to light and 
shade ; in addition to this, red, the most positive of the primary, is contrasted 
with green, the most perfect of the secondary colours. 

Example 6 displays orange in conjunction with blue, and is set off by the 
addition of a little white and black. 

Black has nearly the same power of enhancing the light colours as white, 
but it is by contrast rather than by bringing them to a focus ; it also increases 
by analogy the effect of the darker. With this view, it has been retained in 
the plate more frequently associated with the dark than with the light 
colours. These experiments are followed in Figs. 7, 8, and 9 by contrasts of 
white and black with the secondary colours ; and in Figs. 10, 11, and 12 by 
their contrast with the tertiary hues. The student, in making experiments 
of this kind for himseK, shoidd bear in mind the remark in Chapter I. 
Section IL, namely, that only small quantities of pure colours are found 
in nature ; therefore the proportion of the tertiary colours ought to be 
greatly increased beyond that which they exhibit in the three last figures. 
In landscape, with the exception of a portion of blue in the sky, the dresses 
of rustic figures present almost the only opportunities for the use of pure 
colours ; and these being generally small in extent, more frequently serve as 
9 focus of colour than constitute a prevailing tone. 

If we wish to produce a quiet harmonious effect, it wiU be necessary to 


pay attention to the hannony of analogy, and so pass, by almost impercep- 
tible steps, from one colour or tone to another. The pure pigments employed 
and represented in Plate 4 afford abundant opportunities of arriving at this 
result ; for as none of them are true colours, or to be considered as types of 
the primitive colours, we can, in order to produce the desired change of 
tone, allow ourselves great latitude in their use, without resorting to the 
constant mixture of other pigments, — ^a practice which always tends to 
produce a muddiness, and to destroy that clearness so desirable to be 
maintained throughout every picture. Various pigments are now properly 
employed to represent the same colour in nature imder different lights or 
effects, and therefore it is unnecessary to resort to the obsolete custom of 
putting in the general effect with neutral gray — although artists still retain 
the use of washes of delicate and varied grays over the sky, distances, and 
middle parts of the picture, as they conduce to aerial qualities ; but the effect 
of light and shade is left to be put in with pigments possessing greater 
variety of colour and more removed from black, as there is so great a choice 
from which to select, that not only the extremes of colour, but light and 
shade, can be reached by a gradated scale, the whole being in perfect har- 
mony, unattended by that loss of light occasioned by the former practice. 

But in order to receive the full benefit of this extension of our materials, 
it is essential to avoid confusion, or want of appreciation of the different qua- 
lities possessed by pigments. The student, therefore, should classify them 
according to the primaries to which they are most nearly related : the simplest 
manner possible is the best. Plate 4 shows some of them arranged in a gra- 
dated scale ; but those who would become intimately acquainted with their 
qualities will take each in turn, and try effects by mixing it with others of a 
contrary nature. Powers and tendencies are thus brought out that are often 
very surprising. These experiments should be made on separate sheets of 
paper, accompanied with written notes, and the most successful mixtures 
selected ; they would do more to advance the student in colouring than the 
most careful copying of elaborate drawings. In these trials yellow, and all 
broken colours in which it predominates, should be mixed with the different 
blues, when greens of various qualities wiU be the result ; the purest yellow 
and blue producing of course the most perfect green ; some of the other greens 


nevertheless being the most useful to the landscape-artist. Among the quali- 
ties brought to the student's notice, will be the relative degrees of trans- 
parency or opacity in the different pigments employed : for instance, by the 
mixture with blue, it will be observed that Vandyke brown and sepia differ 
considerably ; although they are sometimes confused in the mind, Vandyke 
brown having more yellow in its composition, and consequently producing a 
greener hue. Again, brown madder, a useful pigment, but with undefined 
name when mixed with the blues, will be shown in reality to belong to red 
rather than yellow, as its name would indicate, and consequently the mixed 
tint will be gray or purple. Black will also be found to produce a greenish 
tint with all yellows, thus indicating its affinity to blue. This methodising 
is besides advantageous in giving students some idea of the relative force of 
different pigments, indicating those most suitable to the distance and fore- 

Should the student wish to give a more vigorous effect, and yet preserve 
the harmony of his picture, he must consider colours as they appear under 
different influences. The harmony resulting fix)m a predominating coloured 
light has already been treated of in Chapter I. Section III. This result is, 
indeed, so universal, that colours are rarely seen of their true tone : thus, 
under the warm glowing light of the setting sun, green may become crimson, 
brown may turn yellow, and blue, with the addition of the yellow rays, will 
become green ; so that in introducing such a light, the greatest care must be 
taken that every part of the picture may come under its influence, other- 
wise violent contrasts, opposed to the truth of nature, will inevitably be pro- 

But whether the student essays to produce an harmonious effect by 
analogy of colour, or by contrasts of complementary colours, or even by 
joining the two capabilities in the same picture, one thing is certain — ^he 
must have breadth, — the same kind of breadth and simplicity in colour that 
has hitherto been his aim in chiaroscuro. Neither the cold nor the warm 
colours can be subdivided or scattered about his picture ; they must either 
be gradated and mellowed by each other, or else so judiciously contrasted 
as to combine in producing a concentrated effect in the proper place. 

It does not follow that any exact proportions either of warm or of cold 


colours can be assigned as producing harmony ; if it were so, all pictures 
would be alike, and artists would become mannerists : a certain degree of 
choice is not only allowed, but desirable, provided that the artist is always 
true to nature. In the study of the colouring of nature, we must recollect 
that we see colours during the execution of the picture in very small portions 
at a time, and under very limited effects ; whereas in nature our vision roams 
over a large expanse of colours, broken into variations of the tertiary hues by 
the effect of the light, air, and the reflection of the cool grays and bluish 
tints of the clouds and sky. To imitate this reduction of the force, we must 
guard ourselves against the introduction of harsh or crude colours, and rather 
reduce in strength the colours we employ, reserving for our points of greatest 
interest the contrast of the purer colours, when they have in consequence a 
very powerful effect The Dutch masters afford some excellent examples of 
this art ; and Keynolds has particularly pointed out this school as the best in 
which the young artist could study the management of his colours. In 
gazing on a beautiful sunset, we never see that out of harmony ; but when 
we are putting on our crude pigments, forgetful perhaps of the light which 
dominates, we are apt to offend against the principles of nature. In Plate 26, 
some arrangements of colour are shown by rough blots, without pretend- 
ing to any correctness in drawing, quantities, or even exactness in tone ; and 
notwithstanding the difficulty of representing such rough blots in printing, 
they will serve to explain the principle under consideration. In Fig. 1, the 
warm colours are massed together in a simple way, — ^the yeUow and blue 
small in quantity, the red large and contrasted with its complementary 
colour green. Fig. 2 might represent a group of fruit, flowers, &c.; a large 
mass of warm colours, gradated in some degree from white passing into 
cold, which is repeated in a slight form in the sky. In Fig. 3, the warm 
colours are kept on the figure ; the brightest and most advancing about the 
head, where they are contrasted with white and black. The whole mass is 
surrounded by cooler tones, which are brought to a focus on the jug. In 
Fig. 4, the arrangement of colours is reversed, the cool being kept in a mass 
in the centre, surrounded by warmer tones of different degrees of intensity. 
In both these modes of using colours, — ^namely, that of producing harmony 
by pleicing them, slightly varied, side by side, and that of contrasting some 


H3i3A!JDi:nran!r3 (D? EDMtrs, 


6f them with others known to increase their power in Oonsequenoe of the 
complementary vstion, — attention must be paid to the preservation of breadth ; 
avoiding, however, insipidity and dullness on the one hand, or crudeness and 
vulgarity on the other. One important point ought to be noticed, namely, 
that if the harmony resulting from blending or floating vcuious pigments into 
each other be employed, it is only necessary to preserve the general purity of 
tone ; but if the efifect is to be gained by simultaneous Contrast, the colours 
must be extremely pure, and well considered in reference to the scale of 
contrasts. They will then increase in power as they approach one another ; 
but if they are allowed to mingle or float over each other, the effect will be 
lost : thus, if red and green are pure and in contact, a brilliant effect will be 
obtained ; whereas if they are mixed, nothing but a dull heavy green wiU be 
the result. In studying the effect of simultaneous contrasts, it is better to 
err at first on the side of crudeness, and trust to the influence of a more 
practised eye for refinement of the tones ; if the principle is rights this will 
come afterwards. 

Attentive study of contrasts will also teach the pupil to look for them in 
nature on a wider scale, and cause him to be less anxious to paint objects 
entirely of that colour which he knows them to be: for example, on referring 
to Chapter I. Section III., he will find that he has been told that the natural 
or local colour of any object is entirely subservient to sunlight, and thus a 
red biick house may appear yellow in sunlight and purple in shade. If, 
through timidity or deficiency of knowledge of these effects, and also, per- 
haps, from the want of a good study from nature to help him, he should 
begin by painting the whole house red, and afterwards put in the shadow, 
he would lose all the purity and effect of the contrast. Agtun, if, according 
to the old style, his anxiety to secure the light and shade caused him to put 
it in vnth Indian ink, a similar result would be the consequence. 

The effect of drawings prepetred with these neutral grays is the same with 
that of coloured prints or lithographs ; they are imperfect in principle, and, 
of course, as pictures they have a feeble result Where, however, the desire 
is to give a general harmonious effect without aiming at strong c6ntrasts, 
such as the tone over the distance or middle distance of a subject, the author 
does not advise leaving the paper pure, in order to try for these strong con* 


kasts; he would rather secure breadth, with a Bufficient attention to th^ 
general tone, with the first broad washes, and afterwards trust to the addition 
of the complementary colours in the shadows. As an example of the use of 
studying these effects from nature, he adds one of his notes on this point : 

December : Passing in the train to Rugby. — ** A tolerably clear sunny morning ; 
the sky in some degree crossed with filmy clouds ; a decided change of colour near 
the horizon, where a warm grayish vapour arose. The light being on the right hand 
as I looked back, cast the shadow of the steam in a line parallel to the railway ; as 
it passed over the country, I had an opportunity of testing the truth of the observa- 
tion, that the shadows should be put in at once of the accidental colour to the colour 
in light, without reference to the local or natural colour of objeda Eemark the 
shadow of the steam, which, in gushes or rounded masses in perspective, passes^ now 
over green meadows or rich brown ploughed fields, now over russet haystacks or the 
seared leaves still remaining on the oak. Does it completely hide the colour of these 
objects 1 By no means. We can most easily dbtinguiah, not only the green of the 
meadows, or the brown of the ploughed land, but even the variations in colour caused 
by the fallen leaves on the grass, or the cooler greyish blue of the little plashes 
of water in the furrows of the arable land. This local colour must be repre- 
sented. We have to determine, therefore, whether the shadow shall be painted regard- 
less of all these variations, or whether a portion of the rich local tones should be put 
in with the first generalising tints, and afterwards the shadow added with a dear 
transparent tone of the right accidental colour : but notice, although the sunlight 
is rather warm, or not white light, it is not by any means a rich yellow, and the 
shadow is not a very distinct purple, but approaches a neutral gray, in the same 
degree that the light approaches a cool yellow. We have thus more of the sober 
opposition of black and white than of yellow and purple ; and it is worthy of 
remark, that these sobered contrasts are more likely to be observed at this time of 
the year than richer and more striking effects. A general tendency to haze, and 
that of a cool nature, has doubtless contributed to moderate these contrasts. The 
colours, as well as the lights and shadows, are equal in intensity^ consequently there 
is no opportunity for the more striking effects to be produced." 

It now becomes necessary to say a few words on the balance of colour ; 
a point in every case interesting to the student, and one difficult to deter- 
mine by stating any definite proportions. Probably the first lesson he will 
learn is, that certain quantities of one colour balance certain quantities of 
another of equal intensity. All this it may be well to know; but if no 
more is learned, how little use would this prove to any artist, more particu- 
larly to a landscape-painter! Let the student call to mind any fine land^ 


scape in which he could map out and proportion the exact quantities of pure 
colour balanced by any other colours ; or, if he will, let him take the dia- 
gram in Fig. 1, Plate 3, and see whether, when he has obtained certain por- 
tions of the primitive colours, he can cut them into pieces and produce an 
artistic effect with them. Undoubtedly, in experimenting with the coloured 
rays of light, he may unite them, and compose white light: but uniting 
these representatives of colour will only produce blackness ; or when placed 
side by side, with the strictest attention to proportion, they wHl only remind 
one of a kaleidoscope pattern or a harlequin's jacket There are many other 
things necessary to produce pictorial colouring. Variations of colour are 
as numerous as those of form ; and as no two or three figures are placed in 
all compositions, even though they may be the foundation of all forms in 
geometry, — such as the right line, the square, the circle, — ^but are infinitely 
varied by broken lines, curves, ovals, &c., so, in colour, the three primitives 
are equally varied, blended, harmonised, and opposed imder every conceiv- 
able effect of air, light, shade, &c. 

It has already been observed, in Chapter L Section IIL, that although the 
three primitive colours, however nicely proportioned in size and intensity, 
do not produce a harmony that the eye loves to dwell on as a picture, yet, if 
we multiply the contrasts by repeating them in small quantities, observing 
the relative proportions, and add white and black, giving to the whole 
sufficient distance to produce aerial perspective, we shall have an harmonious 
effect. It was doubtless by these means the Egyptians produced so much 
effect in their temples with so few colours. Passing from these early and 
perhaps crude colourists to the colouring of the Moors, as shown in the 
Alhambra, and exquisitely reproduced by Owen Jones at the Crystal Palace^ 
a most beautiful effect is afforded by the skilful adjustment not only of the 
three primitive colours, but also of light, shade, and cast shadow ; and the 
way in which this is effected is veiy extraordinary — ^the scrolls, ornaments, 
and designs which cover the whole wall are not only coloured, but are raised 
in relief about an inch ; the return sides being painted in red, the upper 
surfece having the other two primitives only, combined with white, the shade 
and cast shadow supplying the dark or black. We have thus the three 
primitives with white and shadow in ever-varying quantities, illuminated 

T 2 


with the warm southern sun ; and having abundance of reflection of green 
from the garden and sparkling water, it must have presented a most harmo- 
nious blending of colours. 

In addition it may be remarked, colour is equally suited to balance form 
or light and shade — one quality or power may agreeably balance another ; 
and the student should be reminded that many of the observations made in 
Chapter III. Section II., on " Light and Shade," apply as well here. Pure 
and strong colours, in small portions compared to the rest of the landscape, 
must be kept to the foreground ; for the mists and vapours contained in 
the air, combined with the different colours and hues given by reflections, 
refractions, &c., prevent them from being seen in any degree of purity in 
the distance. When we add to these the effect of light of a predominant 
colour, which completely changes aU local colour, we see how difficult it ia 
to prescribe any certain proportions of each colour, without entering into 
the details of depth of tone, light, shade, &c. 

In concluding these notes on Contrasts, it will be evident to the student 
that the power of producing a powerftd and harmonious effect will depend, 
not so much on the strength of the individual colours, as the relative 
positions they occupy in his composition : thus great brilliaiicy may be 
the result of a skilful combination of the tertiary hues, while nothing but 
heaviness and dullness might show itself with all the primary colours 
placed in a pure state on his canvas ; or, if he steered clear of this Scylla, 
he might fall into the Charybdis of violent and incongruous discords. To 
avoid this, let him give the subject steady thought and careful attention, 
and follow it up with a close study of nature under the most favourable 
aspects. Proceeding thus, we doubt not he will be amply repaid by the 
correctness and pleasing effect in his pictures. 



chosen in order to cany out his views of nature and art, may be here 
added. The mode once adopted, the student wUl naturally feel desirous 
of using the means at his disposal with all the power of which the^ 
are capable. With this view, he should, in addition to the most deter- 
mined perseverance in overcoming every obstacle, call to hia aid the 
knowledge and experience of those who have already achieved success in 
a similar career, carefully guarding against that feeling of impatience 
which, spuming steady work, seeks some rapid and, as it were, sleight- 
of-hand way of attaining its object Ahove all, he must constantly bear 
in mind that water-colour painting is par eoeceUence a mode of using 
transparent pigments on a white ground ; consequently any attempt to 
engraft the beauties or capabilities of other styles totally different in this 
important quality cannot end otherwise than in a loss of the chief beauty of 
water-colours. In like manner, some sculptors, not content with the refined 


beauty and semi-traiisparent delicacy of Carrara marble, and sighing for the 
attractions of colour, have sacrificed these qualities by covering their statues 
with a coating of white, in order to superadd colour. Again, some oil- 
painters, under the idea of obtaining an aerial effect, have mixed their pig- 
ments for the sky and distance with turpentine, or other vehicles so volatile 
that the paint peels off fix)m want of cohesioa In the practice of water- 
colours likewise, modes unsuitable to the general style have been adopted in 
the hope of gaining power and rapidity ; among these, the immoderate use 
of an opaque body-white over the whole drawing, in the shadows as well as 
on the lights, is the most objectionabla Instead of attempting to combine 
these two incompatible styles, causing, on the one hand, the loss of the 
power of glazing, and on the other, the sacrifice of aU the beauty of trans- 
mitted light, it would be better to change the vehicle and materials alto- 
gether, and, when using opaque pigments, to select those already prepared 
in oil, which admit of great strength, depth, and transparent glazings. The 
employment of opaque colours with water, size, or gum as vehicles, although 
undesirable in some instances, is admirably adapted for panoramas or laige 
scenes, where the distance from which the painting is viewed gives trans- 
parency, and where the effect is aided by modified lights thrown upon the 
scenes from different directions ; but when carried throughout a water- 
colour drawing, it only substitutes the opacity of an absorbent, and often 
impure white ground, for well-sized white paper. Let it not be supposed 
that the author considers it wrong to use any power belonging to another 
style which can be advantageously introduced, or wishes to decry a style by 
saying it is illegitimate ; on the contrary, he thinks an opaque white like 
Chinese white gives the extreme lights on such objects as leaves, water, &c., 
with great effect, and also is now and then of great assistance in scumbling 
over the distanca Lest he should be considered prejudiced in these views, 
he begs to add the opinion of Mr. Twining ; a gentleman who, as an ama- 
teur, has studied the art both philosophically and practically, and whose 
judgment therefore may be accepted as unbiassed. In his Philoaophy of 
Painting, he says: "It would be almost humiliatii\g to art to mention 
some of the absurd and preposterous means which have been resorted to for 
what is sometimes considered an effective style of imitation. The trickery 


or the novelty of the process wins approval, in a degree which is propor- 
tionate to the extravagance of the means employed rather than to the 
worth or merit of the result ; nevertheless, so easily is the pleasure which is 
derived from astonishment confounded with that which we owe to merit, 
that our admiration is not withheld. There is at times but a very slight 
distinction between the expressions * How beautiftll!* and ' How extraordi- 
nary!* however widely the conditions which may call for the one may differ 
on other occasions from those which give rise to the other. Thus it is that 
in proportion as the style becomes lower, the difficulties to be contended 
with diminish ; till at last, a chUd who has an unusual share of daring 
might almost seem a prodigy, from the facility with which he produces sur- 
prising results. 

"The highest styles of art are those in which no assistance is borrowed 
from preparation, either in the materials or in the method employed, from 
regularity in the mechanical process, or from trickery in the manual part of 
the labour, and in which no colours are extended or concentrated in order 
that some effect pleasing to the eye may be substituted for the truths of 
nature. The styles in which success is most uncertain, as it is most credit- 
able, are those in which the colours used have the degree of brilliancy, trans- 
parency, or substance, which is required in order to convey the most truth- 
ful impression of the subject, and where the forcibleness of the imitation 
depends consequently on substantial and positive workmanship, and not on 
the fascination of the beholder. In this respect, oil-painting seems to claim 
the preference over other styles ; but water-colours, independently of other 
merits which oils do not possess, come very near to it when, by successive 
colouring and glazing, the white of the paper has entirely disappeared imder 
a rich and transparent body of colour.*' 

Mannerism in art may be described as any peculiar way of treating or 
handling pictorial subjects, the work being executed in one unvaried manner, 
arising doubtless either from the linlited ideas of the artist, or a want of 
facility or variety in the way in which he embodies them. This defect, from 
whatever cause it may arise, the student should endeavour to avoid in the 
early part of his practice : in doing this he may derive assistance from study- 
ing with attention paintings by the best masters ; but while continually 


comparing his works with theirs, he must always recollect that nature is the 
fountain-head from which all must draw their inspiration. 

There is a material difiPerence in the manner in which artists carry out 
their ideas of nature ; some possess powers of one kind, others excel in 
qualities of a different description. One who has the valuable power of 
grasping the main features of a scene, and retaining them in his memory 
until he can embody them, may not possess the refinement or delicacy in 
the execution reqidred to work up his picture to the full effect that may be 
desired ; in which case, when seen dose at hand, it will always present an 
unfinished appearance. Another, paying imdue attention to the execution 
of the portion which immediately engages his p^icil, may lose entirely or 
deteriorate the higher qualities of effect ; he may not himself perceive this 
deficiency, but a judicious critic coming in with a fresh eye would at once 
observe it, because, without predilection for any particular part, his first 
thought would be to look for the more important qualities. There should 
be a variety in treating subjects as well as a varied manner in producing 
effects ; otherwise peculiarities will arise which will increase year by year, 
until the productions of the artist can be distinguished in the galleries at a 
glance, and he is justly stigmatised as a mannerist 

In order to gain, therefore, the greatest amount of improvement from 
the examination of the works of others, the student should not copy the 
productions of any one artist for any length of time, but examine in what 
qualities they each excel ; some may show much vigour and facility in pen- 
cilling, others may succeed in rich and harmonious colouring, while a few 
may possess the rare talent of embodying fine effects with the above quali- 
ties. When by these studies an enlarged ide£^ of art is obtained, he will 
not express his own views of nature in the style of any other master, but 
will have formed a manner of his own, derived from the training he has 
thus received combined with his constant comparisons of nature ; and the 
mQre strength and vigour he possesses, the more will his mode of treatment 
difffer from all who have preceded him. 

A dry cold manner, when carried to the extreme, is even more objec- 
tionable in colour than in outline ; in the latter it may be excused in the 
attempts of the beginner, from its preventing a looseness and indecision, so 


objectionable even when sketching from nature ; buJb in colour it only pro- 
duces harshness and crudeness, joined to feebleness in the effect It is 
generally the result of a want of boldness in laying on the colour in 
9ufi&cient quantity ; the opposite extreme arises &om using too much, and 
90 loading on the colour until all becomes heavy and opaque. Experience 
in the use of his materials, added to a knowledge of their effect, wiU 
prevent the young student from falling into these errors. 

If the student haa been well instructed in the elementary parts of art, 
his hand trained to move with freedom and grace in aU directions, whether 
holding the pencil or brush, and if at the same time he is aware of the 
power belonging to both instruments, his mode of execution wiU be bold and 
rapid, and, from an appearance of ease in the execution, convey pleasure to 
the spectator. Still his chief aim should be so to use this power that^ 
without drawing attention to itself— as if the touches or strokes of them- 
selves were beautiful, or as if they showed great boldness and facility, 
and without any apparent effort, — ^he may give to each portion of his 
subject that quality which it ought to possess: thus trees, grass, rocks, 
water, or clouds will all be distinguished with facility, each being at once 
recognised, not only by its colour, but by the other qualities belonging 
to it, — such as hardness combined with roughness of texture in rocks, 
looseness and leafiness in foliage, liquid transparency joined to the appear- 
ance of motion in water, while clouds will give the idea of vapours floating 
in the air. All parts of his work, in fact, should have their pecidiar 
properties or character imparted to them, causing them to hold the same 
position in the picture which they do in nature, and thereby giving the 
additional charm of a graceful execution. 

It now but remains for me to conclude ; indeed, I am warned by the 
great increase of plates and matter in this edition that it is possible to 
be too diffuse, too elaborate. Enough, I hope, has been explained of the 
principles on which the practice has been foimded, and a sufficient number 
of examples given of that mode of painting in water-colours which has 
hitherto been adopted by the British school. During a close study of the 
various sections treating of the different parts of a picture, there is some 


danger lest the earnest student should forget what is its real object. This 
dwelling on the execution or handling, on foregrounds, the washing-in of 
skies, the stippling, the hatching, will never enable him to make pictures, 
if the main incident or focus of interest be forgotten or obscured. And 
here lies a great difficulty ; for this important point once lost sight o^ the 
most exquisite drawing, colouring, and execution become only obtrusive : 
it is often for this reason that pictures painted entirely fix)m nature are 
not the most successful. Very few persons have the power of keeping the 
parts which they with such minute care and attention are painting in their 
relative position ; and still fewer like to pass the brush over and sacrifice 
details or colour, which have been gained by great exertions, when it is dis- 
covered they are not required in the picture : yet all shoidd recollect that it 
is possible for the hand to be exceedingly busy and skilful, whilst the mind 
is altogether dormant. I trust, however, that while with much anxiety 
I have endeavoured to explain to my readers the practice of water-colour 
painting, I have yet made even more evident the great and high principles 
which should guide that practice. 


A00E88ORIB8, explanation of, 44. 
Air, explanation of, 47. 
AtmoBphere, explanation of, 47. 
the, 149. 

Background, explanation of, 44. 
Beach, the colour o^ 194. 
Black, iyoiy, description of, 59. 
Blotting-in, description of, 120. 
Blue, French, deflcription of, 60. 

cobalt, description of, 60. 

— pure, not always agreeable, 246. 
»— as a principal colour, objection to, 255. 
Boats, mode of drawing, 204. 
Breadth, essential, 271. 

explanation of, 40, 

great, how obtained, 89. 

Brown, Vandyke, description of, 59. 

Brush, handling of the, 118. 

Brushes, what description of, best suited for 

general use^ 70, 172. 

kind suitable for foliage, Ac, 172. 

Buildings, a knowledge of perspective essential 

to draw well, 181. 

the colour of, 185. 

mode of handling to represent, 185. 

tones of, 185. 

Cadmium, description of, 56, 
Cattle, the colours of, 251. 
Chalk drawings, to fix, 67« 
Chinese white, when of use, 128. 
Chrome, orange, description of, 56, 
Clothing, the colour of, to be selected, 245. 
aouds, 150, 206. 

how to give the efifect of air and space 

to, 150. 

description of the different kinds ot, 


reflections of, in water, 206. 

Colour, on the nature of, 7. 
■ examination of, by the pri»m, 8. 

" not in the object, but the light falling 

on it, 10. 

Colour, proportion of the different rays in the 
prismatic spectrum, 11. 

local, explanation o^ 48. 

subordinate to form, &a, 76. 

— — - how to obtain great depth of, 118. 

■ body, on the use and abuse of, 124. 

opaque, to be used with caution in 

foliage, 172. 

not to be represented pure^ 269. 

— — the position of pure^ 275. 

balance o^ 274. 

the advantage of, doubtful in sculp- 
ture, 279. 

Colour-blindness, instance of, 84. 

Colours, opaque and transparent^ the action of 
singly and combined, 14. 

the primitive and compound, 17. 

description of the primary, 18. 

the artistic division of, 18. 

description of the secondaiy, 20. 

description of the tertiaiy, 21. 

the hannony and natural contrasts 

of, 25. 


the oomplementaiy or harmonic, 26. 

- the effect of sunlight on, 29. 

- different powers of discriminating, 84. 

- broken, explanation of, 47. 

- harsh or crude, to be rejected, 275. 

- affected hy a predominating light. 


no exact proportions can be given. 

subject to great changes, Zh 

the primitive, combined with li^t 

and shade, 275. 
Composition, 75. 
Conclusion, 277* 
Contrasts, harmony caused by, in dresses, 246. 

the study of, important, 259. 

colours gain or lose by, 262. 

the complementary colours, 260. 

the simultaneous, 261, 

the simultaneous, a£fect the flesh 

tones, 265. 



ContraatSy examples of the effect of, 272. 
; — notes on 274. 

Dragging, description of, 123. 

Effect, explanation of, 45. 

mode of studying in small, 91. 

should be seized at the time, 175. 

Execution, explanation of, 48. 

desciibed, 280. 

Eye, the education of the, in colour, 35. 

Figures, action and grouping of to be sketched 

fi-om nature, 247. 

offer opportunities for pure colour,243. 

rustic, opportunities of studying not 

to be neglected, 247. 

the disposition of, 248. 

the size of, in landscape, 248. 

siee of, notes on, 258. 

good drawing essential, 249. 

in landscape, how to commence, 250. 

rustic, 247. 

— notes on, 258. 

mode of studying, notes on, 256. 

Fire, the light of, 282. 

Flenh, the tones of, attractive, 244. 

the tmts of, 251. 

Focus, explanation of, 46. 
Fogs, character of light of, 283. 
For^round, explanation of, 44. 

study of, described, 178. 

Foregrounds, the nature of, 173. 

notes on selecting, 175. 

the handling of, 174. 

means to vary the texture of, 177. 

yegetation in, important, 179. 

Fountains, want of effect in the Crystal-Palace, 

Gamboge, description of, 55. 

Glaciers, varied in colour, 237. 

Gnviate, to, 122. 

Granulation, if lost, to restore, 215. 

Grass, mode of drawing, 179. 

Gray, Payne's, description of, 59. 

the neutral, used as a ground, 267. 

the neutral, not to be used all over a 

drawing, 273. 

Grays, aerial, description of, for mountains, 
&c., 216. 

Handling, explanation of, 48. 
Harmony, explanation of, 41. 
' in landscape, dependent on the ter- 
tiary hues, 22. 

Ice, to represent, 237. 
Indigo, description of, 60. 
Introduction, 3. 

Keeping, explanation of, 44. 
Key, explanation of, 46. 

Lake, crimson, description of, 57. 

License, the painter's, 253. 

Light, how to prevent masses of, from being 
isolated, 101. 

Light and shade defined, 87. 

the study of, assisted by pho- 
tography, 88. 

best manner of securing; 91. 

time of day best adapted to 

first studies in, 104. 
Line, horizontal, position of, 80. 
Lines, use of, in directing the attention, 79. 
Lightning, the appearances of, 234. 

Madder, rose, description of, 57. 

purple, description of, 58, 

brown, description of, 58. 

Manipulation, explanation of, 48. 
Mannerism described, 279. 
Materials, description of, 50. 
Mists, useful in giving distance, 284. 

different to rain in effect, 206. 

Model, on the study of the, 257, 258. 

Moon, comparative size of, 241. 

new, position of, with regard to the 

sun, 241. 
Moonlight, illuminating power of, 241. 

tones for, 242. 

comparative degree of tone in, 242. 

Motion, explanation of, 45. 

in objects to be observed, 248. 

Mountains, form of, to be given with decision, 


outline to be varied, 214. 

first washes for, 215. 

Notes, utility of taking, while sketching from 

nature, 222. 
examples of taking, 228. 

Orange, Mars, description of, 57. 

Panoramas, useful as studies, 266. 

Paper, what kinds of, best adapted for wdter- 

colours, 61. 

qualities of, important, 62. 

mode of stretching, 63. 

two different qualities of, used in the 

same drawing, 64. 



Paper, to tint, 68. 

tmted, when objectionable, 68. 

Papers, tinted, the use of, 64. 

— those to be selected, 65. 

Perspective, importance of, 77. 

aerial, of great importance, 209. 

■ given by scumbling, 212. 

: how to secure, 211. 

Phenomena, pictorial observations on, 229. 

time to study, 281. 

Photography, not always to be depended on, 

Picture, a, analysed chromatically, 12, 
Pigments, rarely pure colours, 14. 
■ colour of, as seen by diflferent lights, 

Dot distinct in nomenclature, 86. 

position on the palette or box, 60. 

description of the qualities of, 62. 

moist or in cake, both useful, 52. 

in general use, described, 63. 

Pink, brown, description of, 68. 

Plate 1, description of, 129. 






















-— 28, 








133, 261, 268. 


114, 123. 


120, 135. 









196, 287. 








Question 5. Colour, where the most positive, 

6. Shade and shadow, the diflfer- 

ence, 189. 

7. Colour, bright, how to keep in 

distance, 139. 

8. Colours, to avoid dinginess or 

crudeness, 140. 
9. Colour, how to get the artistic 

eflfect of, 141. 

10. Colour, any, to avoid, 141. 

11. Water, the reflections in, 141. 

12. Red cloak, why introduced, 142. 

13. Colour, crudeness of, how to 

avoid, 142. 

14. Colour, vigorous, to retain with 

light and shade and good effect, 143. 

15. Trees, simple modes in the study 

of, when to be adopted, 144. 

1 6. Studies from nature, labour some- 

times ill-bestowed, 145. 

17. Study, how to reap the greatest 

advantage of, 147. 

Raiui the effect of, useful in varying form, 238. 

the effect of, to be shown, 289. 

Rainbow, description of, 231. 

Rays, when visible, 233. 

Red, not easily distinguished by some, 36. 

light, description of, 67. 

Venetian, description of, 58. 

. ■ Indian, description of, 68. 

Relief explanation of, 46. 
Retina, the fatigue of, 267. 
Repose, explanation T)f, 44. 
Rocks, the character of, 189. 
. the general colour of diflferent forma- 
tions, 198, 196. 

with trees at Fontainebleau, 198. 

on Dartmoor, 237. 

Question 1. Cool colours, how to arrangp or 

use, 136. 
2. The primaries, when to intro- 
duce, 137. . , 
8. The primaries in contact with 

their complements, 187. 
4. Shadow, colour of, 138. 

Ruins, their character to be preserved, 184. 

Sails, colours of, 205. 
Scale, explanation of, 43. 
Sentiment, explanation of, 46. 
Sepia, description of, 69. 

most suitable for brush practice, 113. 

Shade, explanation of, 39. 

Shadows, cast, darker than shades, 94. 

useful in showing the nature of 

the surface, 94, 102. 

crossing the picture in sti-aight par- 

allel lines to be avoided, 108. 
Sienna, raw, description of, 66. 
burnt, description of, 56. 



Sketches from nsture, how to avoid repeatiiig 

the Mune, 222. 
Sketching, a list of fa?oarite spots for, 227. 

' from natore, 217. 
— objects suitable for 

first attempts at, 218. 


qualities requisite for. 

three principal points 

to be observed in, 222. 

notes on, 223. 

Sky. the, 149. 

Spectrum, description of the, 9. 

use of the, in examining the colour 

of pigments, 11. 
Snow avalanche, 285. 

to imitate, 236. 

Steam, light on, 238. 

Stippling, description of, 119. 

Studies frt>m nature in colour should be large, 

Style, 278. 

Styles, some to be rejected, 279. 
Subjects for pictures, caution in the choice of, 

Sunset, how to produce the effect of, 117. 

Taking out, explanation of, 43. 

Terms, explanation of those used by artists, 

Thatch, the colour of, 188. 
Tint, mode of laying a gradated, 114. 

mode of laying a flat, 114. 

Tints, dirty, explanation of, 47. 

half, explanation of, 89. 

. priuted gradated, to be rejected, 69. 

■ aerial for skies and clouds, 154. 

for foliage, 169. 

Tone, explanation of, 89. 

breadth of, explanation of, 41. 

Tttm, importance of, in landscape, 157. 

method of studying, 158. 

Trees, affected by the mUf Ac, 159. 

Trees, the branches of, 159. 

the character to be preserved, 160. 

studies in chalk useful, 160. 

•% — local oolour to be represented, 161. 

mode of oommeodng in water^olours^ 


the f<diage of, not to appear black 162 

—^ examples of foUi^ described, 162. 

system necessary to draw the foliage, 


the checkered shade of; 167. 

stems of beech, described, 171. 
Twilight^ 239. 

Unity, ezplanatioQ o^ 40» 

Vehicles and Mediums, description of, 72. 
Vermillion, description of, 57. 
Vignette, description of a, 84. 

Water-colour drawing, definition of, 15. 

—the style o^ 171. 

Water, the pictorial qualities and appearancee 

of, 199. 

the oolour of objects in, altered, 200. 

the difference between reflection and 

shadows in, important, 200. 

the ripples of, 201. 

mode of commencing, 202. 

tones of, 203. 

•in motion, system necessary to draw, 


Waterfalls, to draw, 207. 
Waves, mode of drawing, described, 208. 
White, oxide of sino or Chinese, description 

of, 54. 

Chinese, how used on tinted paper, 66. 

Wood, the cc^onr of, 188. 
Working, mode ot, 113. 

Tellow, lemon, description of, 54. 

Indian, description of, 55. 

ochre, description of, 65,